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Elizabeth Barrett, from A Dart of Green and Blue

Losing Things

Midsummer. The longest day draws out the crowds —
families, couples, girls downtown. I watch their eyes
for tell-tale signs but pick up only smiles; it will last
forever they think. Don't they know how fragile
this is? And once you've lost the toughest things —
daughter, mother — why bother holding on to others?
So I quit the job I'd just got; didn't care for the boss.
Told a woman I'd never trusted where to get off.
My mum had her number. She was smart enough
not to judge my lover. Still, I chucked him too.
The house went on the market next. One week I peeled off
three people (cross me you're dead). Others I quietly dropped.
Soon there was nothing else to lose. I was travelling light
through voodoo June turning day to night, sun to moon.