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Reading the Obituaries

 Now the Barbaras have begun to die,
trailing their older sisters to the grave,
the Helens, Margies, Nans—who said goodbye
just days ago, it seems, taking their leave 
a step or two behind the hooded girls 
who bloomed and withered with the century—
the Dorotheas, Eleanors and Pearls
now swaying on the edge of memory.
Soon, soon, the scythe will sweep for Jeanne and Angela, Patricia and Diane— pause, and return for Karen and Christine while Susan spends a sleepless night again.
Ah, Debra, how can you be growing old? Jennifer, Michelle, your hands are cold.

by Marilyn L Taylor
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