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Anger in a Group Setting

Patricia Wellingham-Jones

My stomach clenches
at the sight of her pursed lips,
the lines bracketing
a mouth drooping low.
Her whispery voice
with its false note of joy
rasps the bones in my ears
like dull saws scraping
wet wood. She steals time-
my time, your time-
spins a thread a spider would envy.
I fear the part I abhor
is the thing I recognize,
spend my energy
stilling my tongue.