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How Quickly Nothing is Familiar

Laura Van Prooyen

First, the headless vireo.
Then the Labrador sprung from the brush. And now

the man with his hand between the scruff
and collar leading the dog away.

My daughter runs the worn path. Her pink jacket
bright as bubblegum, or lipstick. Or

the bougainvillea I once potted in Texas
far from these woods

where everything has gone green.
She runs toward the river, a bloom

in a tunnel at the bend where the man
disappears. Before I think to say no.

Laura Van Prooyen

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