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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 3, September 2018
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Peter Newton
Wichendon, Massachusetts, USA


The Usher

“Good Morning,” he bellows once the elevator doors slide closed and we ascend. Despite a jacket two sizes too big, there is a fullness about him. His tone is exuberant.

summer’s end

Heads bowed, I and a few other passengers rouse from our assumed positions of indifference. Most of us are visitors preoccupied with our own reasons for being in a hospital. We stammer out our delayed greetings: “Morning.” “Hello.” “How’s it goin’.” He shakes his bald head, tries again. “Thought I’d break the silence . . . I mean, here we are, right?”

the tallest one in line

He has a force behind his drawn cheeks. Something intact. It’s as if he were rallying a team of strangers to give it all they’ve got: C’mon people. I gotta fight this cancer and carry the conversation? Couldn’t we just extend a little courtesy? I take his meaning: You have to fill the space you’re given.

at the ice cream truck

The doors slide apart like curtains. The man extends his arm as if introducing me to the world.

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end

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