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A playground, in a park. One lady
raises to the top of the slide a ball
of newspaper, gives it a kiss:
"Ready . . . set . . . go!" Another holds
a lampshade in her hands, smoothing
its chenille bangs. "My daughter,
you should see her dance—
she's already won two prizes."
"Did I tell you mine—he's three—can already write?"

A girl, in line behind them with her son,
is listening. She tightens her grip on his hand,
hoping no one
will notice he's real, and alive.

Source: Poetry (December 2007)

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This poem originally appeared in the December 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

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