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Poetry #162
(published January 15, 2004)
In the Middle
by Tom Sheehan

In the middle of an I-95
breakdown lane I saw the dog,
Labrador black and heavy,
rent up and down like an old box,
sheared at blunt edges of a bumper.
Color-broaching needles,
whole fistfuls of them,
probed behind my eyes
for recognition, for pain.
Then I saw the boy
astride a meshed guardrail,
his forehead pushing down
on the cement guard pole,
an inversion of Atlas
hung up on a raw April day
of new dimensions.
A long-gone pain, old as
trees, kicked my chest;
esophagus stuffed itself
with memories, bone-
wrench impact of another time.
I heard the frail touches
of tears on far ground,
screech of taxi tires
coming off the pavement
of a road I travel only
in dreams, dog's last pant
wet in my hand.
I found half an hour
and my beaten duffel bag,
cached away in the van
secret as campaign ribbons,
gave up an O. D. blanket
a moth had buried itself in
waiting the resurrection.
I gave the blanket
to the boy to the dog
to a hole in the ground
behind a house in Georgetown.
He walked away wordless,
a prisoner caught up for a while
in other freedoms.
And I found my thirteen-year
old eyes, the unjaded beauty
of them, before girls
and spiraling footballs
and quiet battle losses
deepened them with
the reach
of a distant star.

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The Next Poetry piece (from Issue #163):

The Moon
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The Last few Poetry pieces (from Issues #161 thru #157):

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Group-therapist Listens to Water Music
by Barry Blumenfeld

Group-therapist Contemplates Dead Songbirds
by Barry Blumenfeld

Group-therapist Contemplates Winter Crows
by Barry Blumenfeld

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