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Dad

The vendor
at the counter
hands me a stapler,
wondering why
I need yet another.

Indeed, I didn't,
until I realized

that she giggles
when I get frantic
about lost pencils,
papers, and staplers

and she smiles
indignantly
whenever I look,
exasperated,

at her tiny hands
clutched around
the stuff she found.

I am just bringing home
another situation
inviting her indignation,

waiting
to break into
some calm love,
and a bear hug.