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Poetry #407
(published November 6, 2008)
by Gene Barry
Days inside the dark low door where the plates of baby beetroots seemed to set themselves a place at every meal, of warm milk and clocks that time ignored.

That warm summer when the haycocks like
summer's breasts balming in the hot sun
dressed his giddy fields. Each one curiously with a corner where I safely perched as we

clip-clopped to the cobbled yard. I missed the man that was my father most, I missed them all. I wondered why I was chosen to greet the spraying teat and cottage innocence.

He would reach behind his gravelled
mouth that held the morning's weeding
in the turnip field, across the mine fields of sense and legality and invade; his

manky hand to the crotch of us innocent
boys. Were they the tickling fingers of a simpleton or the death-grappling hooks of boyhood. My brother said he was a queer.

I opened the gate each trip and swung on fear's axis through a multitude of head-spinning questions that I could not pilot; who was the boy and where was the adult.

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