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Out of Season

Text of Poem

Half of the elms along the street looked dead,
a smell in the air like garbage starting to rot,
crabgrass muscled through lawns and army worms,
and no one mowed the weeds in the vacant lot.

Enough to make your stomach turn inside out,
everything running down and going to seed,
a world at war with itself, hell bent to die,
people so stingy I doubt if cut they’d bleed.

This nymph appears. I’m old, slack-spirited.
She struts by short skirt almost to her crotch
and smiles at me and time breaks out in flowers—
in dreams I cut on my gun another notch.

First Line
Half of the elms along the street looked dead,
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Pebble: A Magazine of Poetry (Summer 1971).
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time breaks out in flowers