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Biting her tongue

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My mother died leaving her tongue in my mouth:

the chewed wound of it, ulcered by discretion.

This eel she’d kept crated in its cage of teeth,

floundering now in the shallows of my jaw.

She bequeathed me her lifetime of things unsaid;

shared so little with me that it’s struck me dumb.

She left me to choke on the words she shuttered –

bite down on her hidden truths, huge as my own.

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