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As a child her favorite color

was black,

an omen I guess.

I remember her in

Ms Mason’s art class

crouching over a sketch pad,

her hair hanging

in thick clustered tendrils.


Now, near the end of her death march

she steps carefully across

the stage at graduation,

a victim of chemical warfare,

bald and bony and ashen,

smiling bravely at the

harsh flash of the

commemorative camera.


Who would have thought

her frail form could

muster such majesty?

That such a young girl

could model for her elders

how one might die,

bravely, beneath the buzzing

of early June’s whispered promises?

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