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Certificate

A woman sat in a canvas folding
chair by the lake. The day
was still and water calm. Mist
in the sky blurred the horizon.

She held her wallet in her lap. She
opened it and pulled out a folded
sheet of paper, unfolded it,
looked at it, a copy of her birth
certificate. She folded it, returned
it to her wallet, fingered her
drivers license there, closed her
wallet and looked out over the lake.

A few minutes later she opened her
wallet again, pulled her drivers
license out, looked at it, put it
back in her wallet, pulled her
birth certificate out again,
unfolded it and looked at it again.
She lightly ran her fingertips over
the names of her father and her mother,
folded the certificate, returned it to
her wallet and looked at the lake.

Yesterday she ran away from her
husband, literally, running down
the sidewalk in a light drizzle
on a street a few blocks from
the apartment where her father
died when she was seventeen. Two
pedestrians turned and watched as
she ran by. Further up the street,
her husband stood on the sidewalk
and he watched her go.

Published inOniontownPoemsWords

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