For some reason, someone in the produce department
at The Andersons General Store on Bent Tree Road
is talking about abortion, and for some other reason,
my mother (who is peeling corn and tossing the husks
into the provided plastic trash barrel) ventures to say
to this stranger that she agrees, that she, too, is pro-life
and against the killing of babies. I back up toward
the pyramid of honeydews, wanting to disappear
because I can’t make this moment disappear, this
reminder that, along with all the other things she is,
my mother is an Ohio suburban Republican, after all,
and anti-abortion. I couldn’t argue with them then,
this stranger and my mother, and I can’t argue now —
The Andersons is gone, my mother is gone, the corn
is gone, too, of course, and Bent Tree Road may as well be.


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