POETRY I WANTED YOU TO KNOW / Philip Levine Little yellow tufts of grass grew even in our front yard. 1937. The chow down the block snarled when I passed. He had a black nose and would strain, choking himself, against his leash. I tried going the long way around the block, but those kids called me terrible names, and my brother and I fought them until we were all crying. Behind the station was an abandoned convertible I drove from there to Chicago chased by dogs. When Davey and his mom moved in downstairs, the lady next door said the neighborhood was going. Her son, Clark, called Davey Abie and threw a potato through the kitchen window. Later the police came and took him for stealing a car. We made guns that shot strips of rubber cut from tire tubes and played at war in the alleys and garages until the first snows came. The late sun was golden along my arm, the heat was pleasant, not at all like burning, while the radio spoke of men freezing in the mountains of Spain. They died, and some of the men up there were ours, and their names
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1980
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