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Afternoon Tea



Teacups with a chipped rosebud print
sit on the stained linen tablecloth
in front of two pale faced women whose fingers
wrap around the warmth of smooth bone china.
And behind the other's back,
under the clock, a crack in the wall reaches up.
The mother sees, and the daughter-by-law knows she sees,
knows that during every sip
she disagrees with the dust and cracks and holes
in the turn of the century farmhouse.
"The house is coming along," daughter says.
As she watches the other's hands
across the table that slopes down towards her,
how her knuckles whiten around the cup,
her ruby rings flashing bits of light against the dim walls.
They soundlessly say:
"Watch, new daughter. Watch your life,
the way it takes shape around your men."
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Submitted on May 02, 2011

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