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Sunday, September 04, 2005

AUGUST 29, 2005

by Rochelle Ratner

Provo, Utah. God's country. Forget the fact that his
basement's flooded. For the second time in five years he
comes home to find sewer pipes have broken, gushing like a
geyser from bathrooms all along the street, gurgling up
from toilets, even the one in his upstairs bedroom. This
time it was a dead dog someone stuffed down a manhole.
Other times it's been bowling balls and carpet scraps. They
say it hasn't happened to the same house twice. But here's
proof. No matter that the city will sanitize, repair the old
pipes, lay new pipes, he's too old to spend the rest of his life
feeling like the victim of a goddamn hurricane.

Rochelle Ratner's books include two novels: Bobby's Girl (Coffee House Press, 1986) and The Lion's Share (Coffee House Press, 1991) and sixteen poetry books, including House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003) and Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, October 2005). An anthology she edited, Bearing Life: Women's Writings on Childlessness, was published in January 2000 by The Feminist Press. She lives in New York City, where she is Executive Editor of American Book Review and reviews regularly for Library Journal. More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage: