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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 3, September 2012


Ray Rasmussen
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada


My house is located on the edge of town. For the most part, the neighbors and I leave one another alone or merely nod hello as we pass. But at election time, signs promoting the party I detest appear on their lawns, bringing an economic philosophy and style of politics I don’t respect to my door. At other times, there’s the offer of small talk—and I make myself smaller and pass on by. Still I remain, to avoid the trouble of a move and perhaps because I’d feel the outsider wherever I live.

rush hour
the chatter
of magpies

I step out and walk to the nearby ravine, putting politics and urban turmoil behind me, and pass into a canopied realm of tall poplars that conceal a meandering stream.

singing me
yellow warblers

Author’s Note: After “Outside” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays and English Traits, The Harvard Classics, 1909–14.



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