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White Thread

ISSUE:  Autumn 1980
Cass Street Asphalt Blacktop
Omaha With a dozen cartons
Of stolen grade school chalk

Jim drew flawless circles
Hundreds Each one perfect
In every possible size

Tim scrawled his Mother’s name
And her nickname within
Those circles: Diana and Dee

Finn traced long billowing
Parabolas Erotic fronded
Hammocks and huge cigars

The little wreaths of white
Smoke were artful and touching
Flowing up onto the green lawns

Jack scrawled his name
In neat rows across
The street As if he must

Do long blackboard duty
To erase some inexpiable sin
With each new row his name grew

Smaller Evening at street
Light Parent whistle and the last
Thread of a firetruck sunset

Illumined by a full moon
Laminated by porch lamp
Street light or an occasional car

Cass Street from driveway to stop
Sign glowed white A White desert
The color of daylight Color of

The healed wound The soft color
Of part of our eyes as we looked out
Through the screens and closed

Our eyes in joyous sleep These are
The garments we wear to keep us
Warm To keep us whole and alive


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