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John Repp

Running Past Lloyd & the Peepers


Once upon a time, I ran through the squeal-whistle shrill 

of the peepers past what had always been Lloyd’s trailer 


& the field across the road where last July 4 Lloyd chased 

his screaming, near-naked kids with a lawn tractor belching 


blue smoke in the roiling midst of which I waved to Lloyd 

& his oblivious kids & his wife waving as she roasted 


five hot dogs pierced with pointed sticks (each braced 

on a three-brick stack), the all-but-dead bonfire billowing 


smoke that nearly obscured the untrimmed-log addition 

Lloyd had joined to the trailer by means of a wizardry 


forever beyond me. In a may-as-well-be-mythical time, 

I’d come home after a complicated time away to run past 


a bearded someone feeding Lloyd’s fire pit trash bags 

swollen with what seemed clothes or bedding, an oily, 


reeking swirl of turbid smoke-devils enveloping me 

as I waved at the oblivious stranger & never broke stride, 


the peeper-squeal filling the woods that within a dozen 

footfalls crowded the roadsides again. Lloyd’s panel van


didn’t tilt in the two-track, nor did his tractor squat

under the lean-to. The three stumps he pulled a spring ago 


to make more garden still lay by the drainage ditch 

& I never again saw anyone on that plot of ground.

tiffany jolowicz Monday on Michigan Island, Yesterday, the Day Before, Two Thousand Years
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