looping over and around

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Lying beneath the casket was a gym slip
and a little tutu
A pink cheap crimping of cotton
in a classic ballet style

In the coffin, of course
lay a child
black ribbons in her hair
crisp and still

Mother was terribly stricken
and stiff also, as though fried and dried
in movement
holding back from movement
and a quick shudder
Occasionally she’d spit

There’d been camping trips
together
hours by streams
the best places to stay
noisily wet and never ending
a pillow and a biscuit and sit and listen
stare at the flies
silent above the roar of water

Bitten twice she’d turned and died
in mother’s arms
anaphylaxis
shock
they’d said, summing up the body’s response
to nature

Would it ever end
Oh it just did

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