birds sing

she talked rapidly

about family,

history, opera, poetry.

i idled,

listened a bit,

eyed her clothes.

wished i dressed liked that,

treat myself,

et cetera.

then.

she told me

that

her uncle,

in war painted

white crosses on men who deserted.

an aim for those

who shot them.

she said,

he was never the same after.

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