by Dale Jordan Heath

    She took the stash from a flowerless vase
    and wiped her streaked face--again,
    and took the box that stored tiny shoes
    unraveling pink and blue
    and Winnie the Pooh bibs amid other
    what might have been.
    A suitcase holding little more
    than a memory
    sat by the door, and she kept
    a vigil for the taxi
    she had called
    months before and years ago.
    Bruises healed...concealed the scars
    of endurance...assurance she'd stay,
    so he thought.
    But today
    she would ride past the city limit sign
    and smell the paper mill
    one... last... time.

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