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“You could lighten

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up a little,” he says,
shutting the rusted tailgate,
“maybe at least lean
down from your high horse
and look busy,” picking up
his work gloves and his spade.

“You’re not the only
hick on the clock
with an education,” he says, half-
laughing, half-wheezing,
and spits, his bottom lip bulging
with a load of Skoal,“even
if you do think pretty highly
of your poetry.”

Source: Poetry (February 2012)

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This poem originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

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“You could lighten

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