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Don’t Let Your Daughter Grow Up To Be a Poet 

She writes, sees herself a poet
pans for gold
looks at the flawed vein under a magnifying glass
doesn’t like what she sees
refuses to spend time on another weddingbabyshower
or stand in the midst of a craziness that whips around
a room like a lasso
roping relatives together at anyone’s family gathering.

At high noon, she turns, steady, steady, aims
shoots that prose feeding in the clearing
holds the gun’s snout up to her lips
blows away the smoke
twirls it into her holster
meanders over to the kill
drags it by the antlers
hangs it upside down on the nearest oak
and with her jack knife
rips it down the middle
guts it
slices muscle into stew meat
slings bloody chunks into a sizzling black iron pot
adds water carrots allusions celery metaphors
bay leaves potatoes similes bones
boils it down into a poem

She invites friends for dinner—
some will eat only vegetables
others will savor whole stew
a few will join her in breaking bones
sucking out the marrow.

She writes
it’s the only thing she fuckin’ owns—
watch out for that sheet of blank white paper
it all gets summed up on blank white paper
don’t let your daughter grow up to be a poet
sure as shootin’ she’s gonna high-tail it outa town.

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