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She studies a photo.  In Sunday-best, the family layered up the front steps, eyes unseeing. Her son encased shoulder to foot in his Daddy’s army jacket.

The backdrop: a brownstone, fort-like in this blue-collared neighborhood. From the kitchen she stares through a slice of window-shade into the yard.  The Howdy Doody Show crackles from the 9-inch Zenith in the den as she unveils Swanson TV Dinners; no mess, no need for Tupperware and no dirty dishes to spatter her shirtwaist. At backyard fences, whispers about those who didn’t return, hush now.  Settled ashes.  Soon Bakelite, bouffants, Brylcreem and Barbies will explode onto the scene—the Boom Times.

family, poetry

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