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when my daughter
speaks to me in that too patient voice
voice I know
voice I likely taught her
voice I use on my own father
voice I hear as condescending
Something in me shrivels

Here we are, again
Me with little packages of words
Ill-fitting for the occasion
Or wrong for the weather.

After so many years
You would think
I’d be better at packing
Better at choosing the right
words. But no.
Always too many
Wrong mood
Wrong color
What’s next?
Keep practicing
Or stay home and
Be quiet.

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