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at the hyde family reunions
fdostoev

dad and my uncles
 1
sat in folding chairs
 2
around the
 3
old wooden silo,
 4
 
stories about carp
 5
snagged out of creeks
 6
with homemade spears,
 7
 
this brother
 8
pulled that brother
 9
out of niles japhet's
 10
frozen pond,
 11
 
steven jhonson's daughter
 12
fouled up
 13
by someone,
 14
 
my grandfather
 15
shot the escaped convict
 16
from bethany prison.
 17
 
as the afternoon
 18
slowly pissed itself into evening
 19
the old joke
 20
came into play,
 21
 
one of the uncles
 22
would hold his hand up
 23
with a matter
 24
of great importance,
 25
 
he'd rub the can
 26
across his cheek
 27
and start jabbering about
 28
what he'd give up
 29
for beer,
 30
 
it went everywhere
 31
from jobs,
 32
houses, left legs
 33
and decades
 34
off their lives.
 35
 
dad's eyes were wild by then,
 36
dark spot on his jeans
 37
from where he didn't
 38
shake off well enough,
 39
 
they always looked over
 40
at the wives
 41
on picnic tables,
 42
most of them seconds and thirds,
 43
 
they never said it out loud
 44
but i knew
 45
they'd cut them loose
 46
in a second
 47
 
and the way
 48
he often looked at me
 49
like the stacks of unpaid bills
 50
and parking tickets
 51
told me
 52
i wasn't guaranteed
 53
shit.
 54

02/18/07

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