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A Woman's Work

See my women

thin-lipped as knife blades.

Covering mirrors,

pouring Tipples

down their alleyway


Their cries arrested;

held in a line-up.

Dressed tomorrow

for no washing

to be

done today.

Opening windows,

a wake for an empty room.

For the first time praying

their kitchen abandoned,

for the songs

to stop.

No lamenting

for laughter

or for sleep,

but for white linen

rituals and hands

tying ribbons.

For pine heavy with body,

for the wail

of common cries.

See, my women

run through with


When a war is over

it is hard

to know where

the dead

are buried.

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