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Genoways, Ted / Anna, washing
(2001)

Anna over the mangle,   p. 19


Page 19


Anna over the Mangle
I accepted Abe like a dirty shirt-
soiled, yes, but sturdy as corduroy.
Spring was worst-even reindeer moved in herds
to the frozen north. I cradled that boy
as if he were my own.
                    His real mother
dead-blue brother cord-strangled-because Abe
was too small to stay her deeper hunger.
I was twenty, a girl at their table-
washer of china, scrubber of underpants.
When his father ran, he left a hard loaf
of bread.
        Sometimes I see a stranger glance.
When he was five and cried, no one said love
as if that were why two people married.
I have no one else, he said. I agreed.
I9


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