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Philadelphia Airport


To you, the woman in
the next bathroom stall
at the Philadelphia airport:
The little girl with you?
The one in pink suede boots?
The one who was crying, hard?
I heard you hitting her
Heard the soft thwak of it
your blows softened
by her thick winter coat. Listen.
I’ve been One Overwhelmed Mother too
tired, tired, enraged. What scared me
Was how you yanked her
crying self into the stall.
Are you done? Are you done yet?
was what you kept repeating, furious.
When I came out of the bathroom
You were both long gone though
I looked for you, not knowing
what I would say if I found you.
Are you done yet?
Did you find calm, did you find
the well of patience buried deep
in love with that child
in love with her in this world?
I spent the rest of the day flying
carrying the memory of you two
in the air, making wishes
for her,
and for you
casting what spells I could
through thick cloud cover

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