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John was sweet
behind the counter,
and held the door for me
as I carried in deliveries.
he loved dum-dums (invariably
cherry) and he’d clench tightly
(tensely) on the stick
when strange eyes caught on the
shoulder of his missing arm.

 

Sharon was gruff-
-er, and held her ground
under the heels of combat
boots. but I remembered
when she was little, and in school
and hid her trembling sixth
finger tearfully under the chair
as classmates whispered.

 

when I saw Ruthie

toddling by a chatting mom

my heart lifted. she wore
an eye patch proudly
flowers hearts once even warm
pink strawberries, and she giggled
every day because by seven
she’d realized how blessed
she was to be able to.

 

just because you have two eyes
a nose ten fingers and two lungs, is every
reason to believe there are others
who don’t. to believe
that to giggle and walk,
think and talk, laugh and
run, you are blessed.




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