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David E. Oprava


War Widow


Idling in the queue at the car wash, waiting for baptism and a clean car, mulling over the sins of the past few weeks since the last call, watching the not-too-dirty drivers in front of me paying for a clean slate, I wait, re-think, can’t pull out of the line, trapped between the casual owners whose consciences wear a little city grime, I must look terrible, caked in muddy thoughts and impure intentions, not even sure I have the money to pay the ferryman to get me to the other side of the sprayers, brushes, wipers, blowers, foam, wax, and absolution. It might be easier to get a new car. The other he was with me when husband called. Then I heard no more, until they came to the door, this sombre notice, in my hand, giving it to the car wash attendant, who doesn’t seem to understand, he’s dead, I say, leaving it with him, car unwashed, I drive away.

Submitted: Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Edited: Wednesday, September 03, 2008

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