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Ladies Who Lunch

Ordinary women with long-braided pasts, feasting on Greek salads–
heads bent over dishes thick with feta, dolmades, falafel.
Someday, I picture us eating this exact meal by the Mediterranean,
in sun dresses instead of wool, the water out our window a
wide blue sea salty as Kalamatas
instead of this narrow gray canal, dotted with ducks.
But here today, we make our own warmth with stories,
listening to tales of deaths, diets, miracle lotions, far flung dreams.
Eyes fill with tears, and clear again,
like the water glasses our patient waiter refills
as we recite the litany of our losses, which are many.
Look at us. Look at our bags laid down, at rest after being carried so far.
Look how we laugh, funny and hope-filled,
dreaming of beaches and Europe, wine country and cottages.
How beautiful we are–the way we dream those futures
but brush our hair today
and put on mascara we know will
be cried off before dessert
chances equal that our tears are from sadness
or laughing so hard we cry.
Either way, our hearts crack open over
this gift, this day of being ladies who lunch.

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