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Poetry

Luz in Her Sleep

Robert Anbian

Her day begins at the hour it ends.
She leaves work at 7 a.m., picks up the kids
from her ex-father-in-law’s house.
At home, she heats up yesterday’s soup
for breakfast.  She heats water for the kids’ baths,
takes their uniforms down from the clothesline.
They’re good kids, but like all kids
they squabble, slowing everything down.
She walks the boy and girl to school, shops
for food on the way home.  She cleans house,
cooks dinner for the kids and their grandpa to have that night.
Sometimes, while cutting vegetables, she dozes at the table.
At 4 p.m., she returns to the school to walk the kids home.
It’s a neighborhood of families, but the older youths make the streets dangerous.
Their parents should make them stay in school.
But a parent who can barely keep tortillas and eggs in the house
has no authority over a teenager.
Sometimes she plays with the kids before getting ready for work.
Sometimes she gets an hour or two of sleep.
Sometimes she just goes off to work.
She makes $11 a day.
It takes about two hours to earn a gallon of milk.

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