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Dear Obligation,

                                    Susan Meyers


Your lessons are hard
to unlearn,
my mother in her grave,
my father too,

and still their voices.
Beauty is as
duty does,
my mother says.
She whispers this

in my ear in the middle of the night,
the same ear, one of them,
she told me to wash behind daily.
There is a train, I hear it rumbling,

and it’s always on time.
The word good comes up,
often, coupled with instructions
followed by my name.


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