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Variations on the Truth

                                    Charlotte Matthews


Because my husband’s a preacher I figure
it’s a good idea to go to church even though
most days I have a lot of trouble with it. 
Take Mary for instance: why would she need
Gabriel to tell her what she must have
already felt quickening in her belly? 
Correct me if I’m wrong,
but we all carry around our own
kind of discretionary reality, our own
versions of the world as we see it. 
Did you know that owls can turn
their heads two hundred and seventy degrees,
that cattle have one stomach divided
into four compartments so they
can digest all that grass they eat?
Now we’re on to something.
And this morning next to the creek
two geese stood waiting like saints,
that patient, that full of luster.


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