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Hot City Sidewalks

 

before she knew

all fifty states

her father beat his fist

steady as a heartbeat

on an old screen door down the block

it was May, I think

some time for shorts

 

she squirmed in the background

a poster child of name-calling

one knee scabbed, one just plain old skinny

“your son did this” he called from the

bottom of the concrete stair

 

she looked down on us in a

nightgown on a Monday

and simply said “no”

for the boy who’d failed

the first grade three times

 

he hid, or maybe not

in his bedroom, trains and crayons

while she kicked garbage

on a hot sidewalk

 

but she was there, she held her aching scalp

from all the pulling on the

only time in history she had braids

past her shoulder blades

 

to this day

fragments of a

girl too small for

things like politics

and death

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By JunkChuck

Native, Militant Westsylvanian (the first last best place), laborer, gardener, and literary hobbyist (if by literary you mean "hack"). I've had a bunch of different blogs, probably four, due to a recurring compulsion to start over. This incarnation owes to a desire to dredge up the best entries of the worst little book of hand-scrawled poems I could ever dream of writing, salvageable excerpts from fiction both in progress and long-abandoned. and a smattering of whatever the hell seems to fit at any particular moment. At first blush, I was here just to focus on old, terrible verse, but I reserve the right to include...anything. Maybe everything, certainly my love of pulp novels, growing garlic, the Pittsburgh Steelers and howling at the moon--both figuratively and, on rare occasions, literally.

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