“She flicks the rag over the cobwebs on the shelf. She sets the horses and the cattle back. Garbage, really, little lambies Martha brought her, the nose a black smudge. Eye slots curl like turned over parentheses. Martha has to buy her mother a birthday present, so she buys her anything. Oh Ah. How lovely, Aileen says when she opens the tight little department store packages knowing it will be another figurine she won’t know what to do with aside from carefully removing it while she dusts the living room. You’ll have a whole farm in no time, Martha says. Aileen prays for an earthquake like the one in 1957 that rattled the whole house and broke some plates.”
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