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Rebecca Schumejda

Your machine battered hands open a jar
of pickled green tomatoes as if it were the past
that you can simply handover before walking away.
You roll your eyes when I sniff the contents as if fine wine;
you know who we are. And even though you say
the past should not be revisited, you hold grudges.

I have always let you come to the table unkempt;
a workman’s hands are comforting, strong and stable
like my father. Tonight, I lean into them and breathe
you in: factory sweat, vinegary resentment,
the labors of these ghost preserves that sustain us.

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