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Susan Berlin - Request Denied

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At the end, no one showed but us:

distant daughter, twice-disowned son
and Wife #6, cracking gum, practicing
your signature on the back of your
withdrawal slip. Who else did you think
would come? From what source
a guest list drawn, a crowd to rally

as you sank, yacht-sails dragged through
water you fouled? Perhaps a priest to anoint
you, atheist, on your way down? Perhaps
Wife #4, bearing a basket of fruit and the knife
she tried to stab you with? Or would you
prefer to take int 5th?

Which of your siblings, long deleted from your
mailing list, did you expect to make the trip,
cough up six bucks for gas, plus tolls. And which
of us (your two children, known) owned you so much
as an hour of our grown-up time, you who never
held a hand or gave a dime?

Hard to admit; country-club Communist
short-tipping your caddy, sweet-timing
saccharine sugar daddy, buttering your way
in and out of wedding rings (more than
enough for one entire hand). In the end,
even you wanted tears and a 6-piece band.

How poorly you planned.

Susan Berlin

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