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Calming Influence

ISSUE:  Autumn 1980

Route 54 West
gas station
and grocery
3 miles
from town. We drove

flying through miles
of cornfields
late hot afternoon
—”Can’t tell
if it’s open.”

Old pumps dusty
an awning
in front and

inside somewhere
in the
back on a
wooden chair

watching TV
a fat man
wearing an

gets up
with effort
“. . .fellas, hope
you’re not

. . . by
the time I
get out there,
it’ll be


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