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Bamboo


ISSUE:  Autumn 1976
Rattlesnakes sleep in the bamboo hedge in
our backyard. No one
goes near except my brother.
He cuts a thick green reed and lays it in the sun.
It bakes hard to a light wood color.
Sometimes we’ve carved whistles from the reeds.
My brother strings this one with nylon cord and knots
a sharp hook on the end.

Evening he brings his first fish home. I see
its watery stare, the pupil of its eye reflecting
my face like a pool. My brother
thrusts it at me: “Look!”
The flat fish shivers on the fishline. Shattered
rainbows glisten in its scales.

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