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ISSUE:  Winter 1990
There are days I have no family tree.

No fairytales, no green riffs to get me through,
just a headache from speculation’s

ingrown halo, a pair of sore feet, and high
in bare oak branches a fog that looks

white-hot because it’s got
the sun as hostage. Walking

back to work from lunch
I duck into a drugstore: in the aspirin aisle

a withered woman has the air
of a fisherman who’s lost

a keeper, a mackerel flashing away
from the visible bait

and invisible line. Let her turn
and tell me, closing her eyes with pleasure,

our long lives are part of a legend.


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