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This poem is taken from PN Review 111, Volume 23 Number 1, September - October 1996.

Grief Marilyn Hacker


                         for Iva
I

You turned twenty and your best friend died
a week after your birthday, in a car
on a bright icy morning. Now you are
flying home. I called; you called back. You howled; you cried
like the child you probably ceased to be
the moment that I told you she was dead -
your anchor, homegirl, unsolicited
sister.
      Now you are standing in front of me,
tall and in tears and I have nothing to say.
You're too big for me to hold in my skinny arms,
but I do, windbreaker, backpack and all,
stoke snow-splotched hair you probably chewed in a storm
of tears in the cab. Your garment bag leans on the wall,
a black dress in it.
...


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