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by Walter Rhead

There are the stones
like sunburn peeling,
and there the park—all mud,
no swings. And over there a chunk
of sidewalk iceberged in the road.

And there, beyond
the drugstore (with the
broken window front),
a woman bound in gray raincoat of
male cut and stringy scarf to
match her matted hair is walking

near the bakery now—the one
across from ticket booth, the one
with entry bell—and now
she sees me watching her,
and now she glances down;

and now the gutter, chipped
and dry, the gutter cold and
graying, has caught the slug she spit—
the one that sparkles under lamp,
that's oozing toward the drain—
and sent her onward, praying.