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Both bridled and brittle,
this mother's bite
and bark are indistinguishable.
Her words alone
can wound; but her specialty,
along with bitter
remonstrations, is tone and expression.
especially mouth, bow
tight, lips drawn to vanishing
point and eyes of dark
and darting venom.

So much reaction
and never retraction.
Her children know mother-love
like apples know presses.

      — Virginia Beesley