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Zinc Lid


ISSUE:  Fall 2008

It’s the gray of canning season rain,
neither cool nor warm, and mottled
with feeble light. There’s a moony
milk-glass insert ringed by rubber
and a dent where somebody rapped it
to break the seal. But its cucumber
summers, dill and brine, are over.
No more green Mason jars cooling,
no generations of dust beneath
the cellar stairs, the ancient quarts
of tomatoes like balls of wax,
the pickles slowly going gray
as kidneys, pale applesauce settling
out of its syrup. Today, on a bench
in a dark garage it’s upside down,
a miniature galvanized tub adrift
on time, and in it two survivors,
a bolt that once held everything
together, season in and season out,
and a wing nut resting its wings.

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