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by Marsha Mathews

Ringgold, Georgia

At Super Saver Motel,
my small daughters & I climb steps,
juggle luggage,
Styrofoam ice chest,
two stuffed pigs with eyelashes,
torn grocery bag,
a fistful of alternator belts
we've gathered along the way.
I fumble, yet manage to unlock the door.

Within minutes, the girls dazzle me
in their pink Minnie Mouse swimsuits.
They yank my arms, pull me from the chair,
shake from my lap
the phone book
open to "Auto Repair." It flops
to the floor, a yellow swarm.
At the pool,
troubles float.
I sit back and forget
our U-Haul trailer,
everything we own
that wasn't his
in the weeds beside the Interstate.

Here, against the mountains,
damp-haired daughters hula.
Around their tiny waists,
thin black belts spin, stop, spin–

First Published in SALiT. Rpt. Northbound Single-Lane  

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