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44 the minnesota review Margaret Robison Letter Poem My brother said you close your eyes to answer yes just as my sister did thirty years ago, her bright mind trapped inside her thin and crippled body. "No," my brother said, "Mother didn't say a thing. Her mouth's taped shut." I read again the last letter that you wrote: "!finished Steinbeck's Winter of Our Discontent . . . The yard looks terrible. . . Don 't know of any news—" Now days tick by blank-faced while what life you have left is sustained by the steady, cold work of machines. You said you didn't want me there. What can I say? Tonight I taught at the prison again. I was too tired to drive home. Hurricane Charley missed us yesterday. Mother, the trees are beginning to turn. ...


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