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By George Hammons

She never told me that she loved me
but I tell myself that she did;
I make believe that she said it
with her homemade biscuits,
and fried chicken,
her waffles and spaghetti.

I imagine that it was in her voice
when she called me in from play,
or it was in the way that she shook her head
and accepted the fact that
I was difficult
and stubborn.

She never hugged me,
or held my hand when we crossed a street,
and I don’t ever recall a kiss,
or a fond wish, for a good night.

I do recall that when I was 15 years old
she died
and I took the semiautomatic Colt
from under her mattress
and contemplated dying too

but I didn’t (die)
and I am not sorry.

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