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The John Robert Doyle, Jr. Prize

Marilyn R. Mumford

true story: List

true story (philadelphia, 1994)

nine-thirty september night
back door to the basement
enter the famous cancer hospital
long corridor
dim light

ahead of me
a tall figure raises a broom
then starts whacking the floor

a little bit of grey fluff
speeds across the dingy hall
flattens herself
disappears under a door

the figure, grinning
says, don’t worry miss
I’ll get her!
opens the wrong door
I hear him whacking the floor

holy mother these are my beads
oh please mother can you
leave the both of us a little
lighted slit of latitude
please can you lend me
this little sister’s desperate
sagacity her feet her fur
her whiskers scenting doom
mother oh can you oh
allow the both of us escape

pray for us now
as who knows who
raises the broom

true story: Text
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