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Major General,

The Dowager makes tomato sandwiches

when I go to her house. We sit in the dining room

and Beverly brings them out, wearing her clean

dress that’s as white as the bread.

She cuts the crusts off. Beverly does. I say,

Thank you for making these to the Dowager

who makes the strangest face and just says,

Eat. We only eat them in summer

even here in California where tomatoes

grow all year. We eat them on china plates

at the long dining table with one of us at either end.

One time I tried to sit beside the Dowager. She stared

at me ‘til I got up and walked the long walk

to the other end. We do things properly here,

she said. And took a bite. I like it just the same,

the quiet as we eat. And how the tomato has that tang

when it mixes with the mayonnaise. Some days

Beverly brings me two and winks when the Dowager says,

You spoil her and mutters something about fat.

I’m not sure why she has me come except to ask about my father

or maybe Babe. Once I asked her about my Brother,

if she thought he was brave. She got up then

and said, I think it’s a long way to go to get away.

from Rocket FantasticFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2017
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Gabrielle Calvocoressi Poems

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