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Soft Rag

ISSUE:  Autumn 1992

Seventy-three years ago he lay belly up
on the rented bearskin rug, stared at the penny
stuck on his Mama’s nose, and screeched.

He used to hang beside the bed in my first apartment
until one boyfriend complained,
“Your father’s giving me the creeps.”

We ceremoniously put him away.

Today I want him between the bookshelves
and my desk. I want him there now,
his lacy dress barely hiding the parts of him

I’m almost forgetting. I pass my hand
in front of his eyes. I spit on the glass
and wipe his body clean with a soft rag.


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