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Obit

                                    Mary Hutchins Harris


Mari, who was sometimes called Mimi or Cupcake
by those who loved her, but did not know her
or knew her, and, as she laughingly said, loved her anyway,

passed away yesterday, a victim of bridled passion.
No accident took her off into the trees
or the sea or even into the heavens she was fond of

being inside, feeling small in the way a child feels
small in the arms of her father, her aunt,
someone she loves but does not fear.  Although

the blue shadows of streetlights heard the breaking
throat at night, attuned as they are to
the sound of falling glass, her passing was a quiet one,

barely perceptible in daylight. When every other
tallness was prostrate, save the trees,
she could find no cloudless lover.  A time or two

she told a friend she had found pieces of him in
dark-rimmed glasses, scarred arms,
or a flannel shirt but the composer and the librettist

had been unable to concur on a full opera with her name
in it.  She is survived by the angled light
from slightly-opened blinds on a sundered morning, a box

of magnetic words given to her by her children,
the vixen red of her toes and a tongue,
a tongue stung by bees.  An anonymous friend,

who loved her once but did not tell her said, “Her eyes
were so deep, I was afraid not to fall in.”  No
services are scheduled. A word for yes could not be found.


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