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Woman in Blue Jeans and Wool Socks
by Lucille Lang Day

She dusts the copper sugar bowl
and fills the garlic pot
before starting supper. Each
teaspoon leveled, she folds
flour and white batter
into butter, eggs, vanilla
and sugar, creamed.

Coffee cake safe in the oven,
chicken simmering in olive oil
and wine, she takes a razor blade
and scrapes paint from doors,
window frames and walls,
exposing the dark wood beneath.

In every cottage there is a woman
dusting floral china,
arranging a table with bowls
of strawberries and cream.

In every heart there is a question
of fruit and honey, razor blades
and wood like dark water,
the swirling grain.

Paint chips fly in the woman's face
and catch beneath her nails.
Trees glisten in the first fall rain;
creeks that were shallow in summer

churn and rise. Coffee cake burns in the oven.
Chicken boils over in olive oil and wine.
Something rises inside the woman,
sharp, a knife, a cry.


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