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Just A House

My old neighbor’s daughter says,
Mom’s been gone four years,
Dad even longer. I couldn’t walk
down your street, she says.
Couldn’t go past their old house.
But I scolded myself (my old neighbor’s
daughter is a very strict woman)
and said,
It’s just a house.
So a few weeks back,
I walked by.
Here, her stern eyes soften,
fill with tears.
So we make a plan,
there in the housewares aisle
where we met:
Next time, she’ll stop at my house
Three doors down. We’ll sit
on my porch and drink tea
to soften sorrow
while my house
is still mine,
no cause for sorrow,
nothing to avoid.

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