IN THE HEYDAYS OF HIS EYES
(taut jeans dancing)

An Anthology of Poetry about Being Young and Growing Up
 
 
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THE MILL

Lowell Jaeger

Greasy smoke from the stack at the mill, rusty chainlink. Sidewalks broken. Gates Guards. And whenever I pedaled by, I'd spit my wad of baseball gum at the streaked and cob-webbed office windows. In the log yards and saw sheds, fathers bartered themselves then banged home drunk nights so afraid of worthlessness they'd smash windows, punch wifes. Not my father. He was a union man, elected most-likely-not-to-refuse at the company picnic when called on to break apart bloodied pairs of his brawling, beer-bellied brethren. And I'd hold my gut at the sideline, knowing my dad inevitably took his blows. He maybe wanted to teach his son some way other than cut lips, torn clothes. He lived and died in that mill. And never hit no one hard as most deserved it.

 
 
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