Miranda Merklein
My mother staggers home
from the corner grocery once a week.
If she makes it

to the door she will
unpack her goods, take a knife and
haphazardly chop green

peppers for the freezer,
cubes of mozzarella for the fridge.

She will hang bananas on the banana
tree, so they don’t bruise

or brown too early. If she doesn’t,
someone will find her
on the sidewalk,

unconscious, with her hosed legs
sprawled apart, auburn hair uncoiled,
and they will call the police,

who will come blaring down the street,
riffle through her purse,
uncover her name.

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