Divided and divided again, already old,

the root cellar held in the winds


names, memorials upon memorials like so many

afterbirths safeguarded in cellared mason jars


I could not believe in the names on the stones:

in memory of, beloved, dear, blessed, yes,


any more than I could believe in my own.

back to Waverly


A single broken barn rafter was the undoing

Iowa skies


of a clan that wound its way to basement flats

close to meatpacking and bootleg runs


in Cicero alleys sheltered by the curve of the skyway

exit heading always remorselessly north.


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