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Father, R.I.P., Sums Me Up at Twenty-ThreeShe has no

Father, R.I.P., Sums Me Up at Twenty-Three

She has no head for politics,
craves good jewelry, trusts too readily,

marries too early. Then
one by one she sends away her friends

and stands apart, smug sapphire,
her answer to everything a slender

zero, a silent shrug–and every day
still hears me say she’ll never be pretty.

Instead she reads novels, instead her belt
matches her shoes. She is master

of the condolence letter, and knows
how to please a man with her mouth:

Good. Nose too large, eyes too closely set,
hair not glorious blonde, not her mother’s red,

nor the glossy black her younger sister has,
the little raven I loved best.

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