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Tim Skeen
Aldo Ray
(for Ken Slone)

Here’s my father’s hero
with Anne Bancroft in Nightfall,
1957, battling the fierce blizzard,
only to have the precious bag
of stolen money taken from him
by the night and the wind.
As I walk home from the revival theater
in the sleet and rain, I imagine myself
to be Ray. With my umbrella in hand,
I tap every frozen car parked
on the street because the past
is like a bowling ball poised
on the tip of a screwdriver.
Some square noir tough guy’s got
to make it fall. I might as well try.

Tim Skeen
This Is the Picture

The flea market’s set up
in the Foodland parking lot.
A woman reclines on a lawn

chair under a pickup tailgate.
Her husband watches
over a velvet Elvis, really,

which leans against a tire.
In the background,
the mountains are covered

with trees thick as hair on a
squirrel’s back.  It’s as if their house
must be like a giant sifter,

moving back and forth,
and all that settles
in the basement is for sale.

Tim Skeen, author of Kentucky Swami, teaches creative writing at Fresno State University.

 

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