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Portrait of Helen
by Carl Palmer

Her permanent is just that,
not a hair out of place, ever.

She smiles forever her same
small smile from this cracked

faded photo framed in oval pewter
on the metal wall locker shelf

next to my barracks bay bunk.
Her best green dress and pale

jade necklace both enhance her
rusty red hair remembered from

that day in this yellowed black and
white print. I touch her picture,

stroke her face, long for her embrace,
to breathe her aroma of lavender sachet.

I close my eyes and sway as my record
player plays, "My Wild Irish Rose".


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