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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 7, Number 4, December 2013

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Ruth Holzer
Herndon, Virginia, USA


City and County

Then I was working in a majestic domed building. Columns, marble floors, mahogany balustrades. I had passed the civil service exam and, eager to start contributing to our new household, took the first available position: administrative assistant in the Sheriff’s Office. The newly elected sheriff was popular with women, ethnic minorities and social outcasts, who had given him a landslide victory.

Mission clinic surrendering my blood for a marriage license

I was in charge of the deputies’ payroll. Don’t make any mistakes, my boss the Undersheriff warned, these guys live from week to week. I compiled juror lists and typed the form letters notifying deputies they were fired. Once I had to take some files to the jail, way over on the other side of town. I called municipal transport and asked how to get from City Hall to the Hall of Justice. They told me to throw a brick through the window.

downhill cable car—
a small hand slips
into my pocket

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