What We Had to Do

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Sometimes (often)
he was mean. But
Mamma had a bottle 
of SleepRite, and would 
crush the pills, then push the powder
with a knife into a glass a wine.
 
No one grinned as he gulped;
by then, it wasn’t even a mother-daughter
joke–just quiet. We would wash dishes
together in silence, then wait until 
8 to laugh as he snored. We read books
with the TV on. Then had a full eight
hours.
Because we did what we had to do. 
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