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After Rachel dies,
her younger sister Phyllis
loads Rachel's ashes into her
tackle box, snaps it shut,
and drives to Detroit Lake.
Summer has sunken the watery heart.
Log arteries are jagged bones jutting
from water.  Phyllis decides to fish
before the ceremony, loads her line
with a glittering lure that carries hooks
below. The line arcs out across
the lake.  Heat shuts Phyllis's eyes
She dreams Rachel's ashes
are pebbles that sink
to the bottom, form a Rachel
made of stone,
who gulps down all the lake's life.
Phyllis opens her eyes.  The still surface
mocks her drifting line.  She reels in the empty hook,
drives back to Salem, and makes sure
Rachel is buried deep within the earth.

--Emily Beyer




Originally published by L D Books, used with permission.


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