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The Bed WitchTo Terry Thomas's previous piece

Hold on, Hattie

She's mapped asphalt and old
wood in the three block square.
Sometimes she'll stare at
something new, different--
not in the blueprint--
and be it human, will size up
for bounty, be it object,
will assess for acquisition.
She takes tuition for life--
pockets coins, sometimes a bill,
then spills forth advice
for the day. Nine out of ten
she'll say, "Hold on, tomorrow
will be better." Then she gets
her stubby fingers on a bottle
and paces her slow way to some
cardboard heaven. She's ghastly
in a guilty manner (yours, not hers),
never planning, waiting patiently,
sometimes panting softly from
the full cart--then she'll start
her stare, mapping; something will
catch her fancy and she'll smile,
quickly, briefly, and you can see
(if you're watching) what she once
was, might have been. Then she's
gone, like a brief yawn, to acquire
and to give her simple, "Hold on..."

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