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At the Thrift Shop

At the thrift shop the ladies eddy and swirl

around racks of newly brought out winter coats

scarves and hats dragged out to the sidewalk

on this unseasonably hot day.  A woman I recognize

pulls her long car up to the sidewalk, a regular

about whom something is slightly off, calls out

in her over-familiar way to the volunteers

I haven’t been coming because I miss my husband.  

I just wanted to let you know.  Has he died then and

left this somewhat confused woman on her own?

How and what will she do?

I realize with regret that I’ve steadfastly avoided

her friendly chatter in the past simply because she’s odd.

I feel the chill of shame even under this wool coat

on this unseasonably hot October day.

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