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Friday, March 11, 2016


Out by Ari Zeiger

Dad lived about a mile away,

and weekends were our time with him.
Mom would drop us off after cereal and Saturday-morning cartoons,
then reappear sometime before supper on Sunday.

It was so many decades ago and I couldn't tell you the last time I was back,
though I do remember the hat shop just up the block
and the corner bookstore across the street
and that tiny, cramped market with the TV behind the counter
set high on a cluttered shelf
— how the Tyson fight was on when I walked in,
how I paid for my soda and sipped at it slowly,
slowly backing my way toward the exit,
then pausing by the door, drawing myself in,
making myself small,
squinting through the plexiglass at the brawl in the distance,
praying to see the punch the world had tuned in for,
praying to witness the blow before the owner took notice and counted me out.

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