And as they wore on, with a tragic theatricality,
she grew noticeably uncertain of words her own pale
lips formed, as if too bitter for the mouth, too painful
to her ears, too lonely to be so. Then she stopped,
turned her back on an audience long forgotten
and gathered what composure could be gathered
into the small, white school-teacher blouse
I now noticed she was wearing.
Turning again, in time (eyes yet moist with a soft
blue embarrassment), she suggested someone else
might need to finish her little story, but silence
pushed her to the last word, when she vanished
from her listeners, only to be seen two years later
in a new literary anthology, under short fiction.
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