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the axe

by STEVIE KILGORE - April 30, 2021

Debbie’s knees were one more victim

of faded scars from gravel sidewalks

And although she was old and cold

she had herself an axe in a case

and a cat named Easter

In the mornings, when the empty

woman refused to rise out of bed

the cat knocked his paws on the case

and the sharpened axe rattled inside

like a caged animal

When Debbie was young she chopped trees

beside her Daddy every summer

They giggled and lugged logs to burn

Now if she tried to pick them up

she would crumple and die

One frail chain-smoking skeleton

a stiffened pale mummy positioned

on a rusted porch swing, Easter

rubbing against her feet

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