The back rooms smelled like Louis L’Amour
paperbacks  – even after

the farmer’s eyes clouded and he switched
to cassette – Lucky Strikes, weak coffee

cooling in the Victory Seed Corn mug.

There are woman hands can snap a chicken neck in one twist.

There is town and town is
canned peaches.

volunteer ditch lilies, orange-vested
prisoners picking up trash in the sun.

What does not change?
The davenport best for naps.

that screen door’s quick temper,
one question: how far, exactly.

he meant by walking distance?

– excerpted from
The Deceased Hope the Farm Remains in the Family
For Generations, by Jenny Browne
The American Poetry Review, May/June 2012

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