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A Visit to Autumn Grace

Walking through the hall
You sit at an empty table
Minced meat and mashed potatoes
On your plate, you stick your tongue
Two inches before the spoon
Your mouth, eyes staring blindly

My mother leans forward
So that she can direct the spoon towards
Your open mouth, she reaches
To touch your hand with
Her own, but you lash out
At the feel of her fingers on

Your wrist, you slap her on
The hand, lurching forward
Telling her to get out
Of your space, gesturing towards
The space across the table with
An empty chair. My mother reaches

Her seat, and reaches
For the centerpiece on
The table with
Fake flowers, pushing it forward
Closer to my grandmother, towards
You, your hands jutting out

To keep the flowers back, “out
Of my way” you say as you reach
To bring your spoon towards
Your open mouth, spittle dripping on
Your bib as you leans forward
To catch the mushy goop with

Your tongue, your face twists with
Effort, your lips shifting out
From your face, your brows drawing forward
As your spoon finally reaches
Its destination, mostly on
Your chin, dripping down towards

Your neck, towards the flesh that reaches out,
Forward, refusing to lie with or on brittle bone.



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