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My mother, a Russian Doll 

Painted face 

Hand-carved by the Republic’s people

Only to have her aspen shells smashed & splintered by drunken fists. 

To protect her remaining layers 

She sits on the top shelf 

Collecting dust 

I, a porcelain Nutcracker clumsily repaired with tacky glue 

Too contorted to serve its intended purpose 

But not enough to retire from performing. 

Every time the pieces fit differently 

And yet still a frivolous interpretation 

Of an already neglected appliance

— Athena


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