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Salesmanship With Half A Dram Of Tears

 Gripping the lectern, rocking it, searching
the faces for the souls, for signs of heartfelt
mindfulness at work, I thought, as I recited
words I wrote in tears: instead of tears,
if I had understood my father's business,
I could be selling men's clothes.
I could be kneeling, complimenting someone at the bay of mirrors, mumblingly, with pinpoints pressed between my lips.
That was the life I held in scorn while young, because I thought to live without distraction, using words.
Yet, looking now into the room of strangers' eyes, I wanted them to feel what I said touch, as palpably as when a men in double worsted felt the cuff drop to his wrist.
There was a rush in the applause of gratitude and mercy: they could go.
A teenager, embarrassed for himself and me, lefthandedly squeezed my fingers, and said thanks.

by Brooks Haxton
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