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That Other August
by Lyn Lifshin

I was reading poems about Hiroshima
in a Burger King coffee shop across
from where my car was up on a lift,
exposed as a woman on some white slab

at a gynecologist office, waiting to
know what somebody finds wrong. I
Hadn't spoke to my mother for two
days after she called half my friends,

worried about an almost non-existent
hurricane. I was ripping but it hurt
more feeling so apart. Somehow, I
couldn't not call, and we were back

in the braid of each other. Black
eyed susans near the booth, I sipped
coffee, relieved to be back together.
We talked past noon as chicory grew

into shadow. I couldn't have imagined
four years from then we couldn't do
what seemed so ordinary again. Or that
ten years later I'd be sitting between

body sculpture and ballet in another
town thinking how it's never been this
long since I talked with my mother



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