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On the third anniversary of her mother's death
a woman wrote a poem without pity.

Full of rage in the morning,
with dishes in the sink
and the city hum outside
she could not hear the twittering birds.

She wrote of green worlds gone,
then glimpsed again,
of witches in towers, ice maidens in thrall,
of storming castle walls,
and turning veins from icy blue to pulsing red.

Metaphor can be masochism,
pruning pain into pattern,
muttering in meter to one you love
who has failed you in human ways,
but the effort brought a thought,
that love is both a human right
and grace,
so she shredded the sonnet
for fear it would outlive her.

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