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Richard Swanson


Into their baggy, bunched tubes
of legs go my own, then standing
I hoist the vest, working my arms
through the flat, broad straps.

Shoe laces taut, wide brimmed hat a shield
from glare, I can stride out smartly now
to hay acres swollen with bounty
and corn rows tilled straight as virtue

Week’s end, in a dusty road town named Promise
I will spend an hour with Hans, Patrick and Lars,
talking of things of beauty: plows, dog, horses,
children sweetly perfumed in Fels-naptha,
women of comely biceps, and elders, who, in overalls
just like ours, mended fences into their nineties.

There on the Main Street porch of the general store,
we will gather in confident muster,
veteran stalwarts from the lower forty,
a thumbs-up army in Oshkosh b’gosh blue.

From Not Quite Eden (Fireweed Press).
Used here with the author’s permission.


Richard Swanson is a retired English teacher who lives in Madison, Wisconsin. The author of Men in the Nude in Socks (2006) and Not Quite Eden (2010), both published by Fireweed Press, Richard is widely published in literary magazines. His poems are noted for their humor and humanity and often focus on popular culture. Learn more about Richard here.


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