the paper boy is dead

On a hunch I sauntered slowly
into fresh borne south of
this driftless region driveway
thinking of a town so small
and so brilliant with newness
that dove’s coos came warmer,
more complex and calming
in cascaded light,
sparrows tangoed along eaves,
nests bulged with twigs above a door—
turning back, I’d see every bump
on simple alien surface streets,
no moving cars, no people, just…
the newspaper there, on time.
7 years as never seen before,
mixed emotions at the thought:
could the paper boy have forgot,
to the end of the cement I went,
where straight lines and nature’s debris,
where I saluted hand over
brow to shield from a blindingness,
so practiced and so readied
the veteran orb could retire happy,
here street signs and crab trees sighed,
and we’d all freeze to death just
below shouldered green hills advancing
with leathered leaves flapping
sans our wrapped Sunday Tribune,
or the will to go anywhere else.

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