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Apr 4
Friday afternoon at the candle store
a woman tells me how much she loves
the scent of French buttercream, and coffee
we only have one of those, and I tell her

later, I ring her up
for five candles -
she tells me
she’ll light one of them tonight

before she leaves, she comes back
to buy pens and pencils
for her grandchildren
a Christmas gift to put away

then she is crying –
without warning, she says
her mother died, at 89
and she cannot stop missing her

I tell her that the grandkids will like the gifts
what else is there to say
I’m certain I don’t have the words
to ease that kind of pain

and she smiles – and I want
so badly to tell her that I am here to listen
but that is not my job, and then
the wind blows the door shut, and she is gone.
Lilli Sutton
Written by
Lilli Sutton  22/F/Shepherdstown, WV
(22/F/Shepherdstown, WV)   
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