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Rust


Out here, where wild gentians twist around rusted cars,
    These yards become indistinguishable—
         Porch swing, tomato patch, kiddie pool.

No matter that the kids have grown and gone,
    Some far enough that no neighbor can tell them
         The difference between lignite and anthracite,

Some just down the road with a pool of their own.
    No matter that every plastic swimming pool turns
         From its original blue to rust pink in a year or two.

Down by the river's edge, we slip back to biblical,
    See death as the ultimate baptism, whether lungs fill
         With the grit of a collapsing tunnel, river water, or both.

It has happened before. Sometimes, we lie down
    In our plastic pools to rest, to wait—if the rain fell right,
         This whole holler could be wiped clean in a night.


Lucien Darjeun Meadows

Beloit Poetry Journal

Winter 2016/2017


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