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Ten Days in Arkansas

Martha Silano

and on the final one she takes a walk
to the graveyard, past a row of loblolly pines,
resin sticking to her arms, resin like the names

of those beneath her—William Moon, Leroy Bliss.
She thought she’d find—under these loblollies,
under these silver maples—the long-married,

which of course she does—John and Ellen Gibson,
who held on close to a hundred years; Lucille
and Floyd Pruitt; Wendell Weed waiting

for his Margaret, but where she also finds,
in the Garden of Prayer, Laura Beanie Lehman,
who made it only to 30, whose husband Cecil

must be the one leaving the plastic roses,
and BJ Nicklas who didn’t get past 25,
his father beside him; and as she’s nearing

the exit gate, relieved to escape the faded
wreaths, the searing heat, she runs right into
Angelo Karimu, beneath his name a single

date, beside it a dirty white-winged bear,
not unlike the one her son won’t
let go of, not for the life of him.

Martha Silano

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