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MIMOSA / Deborah Digges I can grieve everything driving these two-lane roads through Missouri. The bridge of trees opens so simply. I pass under and look up at the brilliant, starved leaves that must be the color of shame, or passion, or the truth revealed in stages. Once I knew something I should have told, the name of the place my sister eloped to. In the small wind of her breath the night she woke me, She said it like a wish, like the ritual of the Mimosa pods we used to open each autumn. We'd count each nut-brown seed a son, a daughter, close our eyes and swallow one for the child before twenty, no money, the debt of her young body torn from the inside. One for the man who'd spend her beauty in the long delivery. Then Greenfield became synonymous with heaven in all the hymns my mother sang, hour by chained hour. Greenfield, the rhythm of my father's boots on linoleum when he came in late, went out again, looking. Greenfield, that secret destination I didn't know enough to grieve, nor the towns they came on and passed through to get there, nor the swingsets glimpsed in the rearview, nor the gathering static on the radio that was her future, nor the bottles clicking at the curves, nor her sudden waking, nor the frequent stops near morning, nor her small animal position of squatting by the passenger side releasing her urine 32 · The Missouri Review as she watched behind her, as she held on, though there was no one, engine running, the dust wheeling into the kept promise of the sky. Deborah Digges The Missouri Review · 33 ...


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pp. 32-33
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