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Somewhere in my head, twenty swords drawn
at once by a ruthless, toothless bunch, one-eying
my reticence – not all my reasonable excuses,

not the rainy holiday traffic stacked and smeared
red across a pickup’s windshield, not the calf
that needs doctoring, but more like the everyday

broke horse in the far corner come saddling –
I’m fine where I am. Visalia has become a city
trying to survive on services spread across

a thousand acres of farm ground planted
to houses, many empty boxes. Just off Lover’s
Lane where my mother must have parked

in high school, the Hmong’s ripe late-tomatoes
staked in tall green rows, lit like Christmas trees,
will fill a lug where the construction stopped

on sandy loam – he’s a second-class throwback
even the city fathers have to admire. I prepare
to walk the plank: need jacket, hat and glasses,

cigarettes and messy cup of coffee as I map
the long way in to see if he got his crop off –
something else, something more than business.

.49" cold rain, 40 degrees at daylight


12 below this morning--and no procrastination. Dang it would feel nice!

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The opinions expressed in the Western Folklife Center's Deep West online journals are those of the online journal participants and not the Western Folklife Center. The Western Folklife Center does not moderate these journals and as such does not guarantee the veracity, reliability or completeness of any information provided in the journals or in any hyperlink appearing within them.

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