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The re-racked tops, bottoms, frocks beggared us.
Remember, bodies, once, possessed this cloth,
My mom reminisced. When we took the bus
Past bodegas, the hot-press mill, the swath
of storefront churches, tarpapered shotguns,
A land of corrupting rust, engorged moth,
To purchase, for the next fall, clothes the nuns
Found fitting, we, too, made out like a thief
At night. She dressed me like the rich man’s sons,
And gave herself, yet attained no relief,
Cried out, “Come, Jesus!,” where, then, was the Lord?
Without memory, one can have no grief.
Now, she is dead. My loss, my pain, I hoard
Indulgence even beggars can afford.

Richard Stimac published over thirty poems in Burningword, Clackamas, Faultline, Havik (Second Place 2021 Poetry Contest), Michigan Quarterly Review, Penumbra, Salmon Creek Journal, Wraparound South, and others, along with flash prose in Paperbark, and an article on Willa Cather in The Midwest Quarterly.

NOVUS Literary and
Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN