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A State of

the woman with a silver braid
coiled atop her head, who fed me
beans and cornbread and made
patchwork quilts with my mother.

the act of turning my face
toward the sun while a man
my father’s age swipes at tears,
but I stay near, bearing witness
to his confession spilling forth
and smelling of damp coins.

the way you forgive me when I run,
when I become the space between
two neutron stars about to crash.
I sit in a near-empty parking lot
beneath blinking Christmas lights,
feeding my sobs to the dark; then,
my phone’s chime, followed by
your words: Come home.

M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry and fiction while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in San Pedro River Review, Star 82 Review, UCity Review, and numerous other journals. She can be reached at