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She was the good one, the kind one,
the beautiful one
whose body had the benefit of hard work and plain food
while we smothered in ill-fitting elegance
and slowly drowned in society and our mother's wake.
She made us call her that,
just as she made the other child call her
stepmama -- a kind of inside joke
as her daughter grew more like her every day,
another iron wand of a woman
with tiny feet
clever enough to realize what will win a prince.

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