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I Sometimes Greet a Friend in the Park Behind My House ---



sixty something, with mangled hair 

and an anxious gait, leaning against 

the back of an empty bench

smoking her next cigarette.

It is usually after sunset, 

as she’s trying to avoid all 

the good people who want to save her.

If she could just keep a job,

they say, or give up the drugs,

let go of her dead son

and come back to church.

They are blind

to the warm bloom of her wit, 

the fierceness of a heart that beats 

louder than heavy metal, and

the resilience she wields

to stick to her story

that she’s a goner

and not worth the donuts

I leave on her doorstep

every year for her birthday.

Even when she makes me laugh,

she cannot feel the angels

kissing the top of her head.

Published in Adanna Literary Journal 2023


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