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Gardening This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

You were raised
On burnt coffee
Sometimes slender fingers
would knead
the crease of your neck
the height of maternal

you'd parallel-park yourself
between two couch pillows
and drown in the sounds
of TV
until the room grew dim
and your eyes pilled fuzzy

she'd be
pulling weeds
and you'd stride up to the door
and lean
against the handle
nose to the screen
and wait for her to notice

And when she'd feel
a supernatural prick
she'd half-lift up
from her garden bed
and tilt her head
and reprimand--
don't stand
there like that
and stare

and sometimes
she would add
get out here

and when she did
you'd be flying

but mostly
she just said
go on
get back inside

where you would sit
and revel in
her acknowledgement
of your life.

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