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Sunday, September 08, 2013


by Howard Winn

I have to confess I am not a block party sort of person
and I live on a block that has an outdoor party
in the neighborhood of Labor Day.
I go, usually, to prove that I am not a snob;
although, I would prefer that those people
ringing the barbecue did not think about the fact
that I am an English teacher. “Oh, English was always
my worst subject,” they say, taking a step backwards
in case I beat them about the head with a run-on sentence,
or attempt surgery without anesthetic on their split infinitive.
Body language is always clear, if not their expository prose.
I suppose I must be a snob since I cannot discuss the Super Bowl,
the World Series, nor do I have another Bud with my burger,
knowing that the Big Mac Double Cheeseburger
is a weapon of mass destruction,
eating and drinking neither at this block back yard party
of the good people in my neighborhood who ask for
a moment of silence from us while one says Grace
to the lawn, the trimmed hedges, the bird feeder where
the squirrels forage, elbowing aside the finch and chickadee.
Deer walk through the yards, consuming ornamental shrubs;
wild turkeys chuckle in the woods at some fowl joke.
Do they all have a moment of holy silence
before consuming the natural and unnatural set before them?

Most recently Howard Winn had poems and fiction published in The Dalhousie Review, Descant (Canada), Cactus Heart, Main Street Rag, Caduceus, Burning Word,  Pennsylvania Literary Journal. Southern Humanities Review, Cutting Edgz and Borderlands. His B. A. is from Vassar College. His graduate degree is from the Writing Program at Stanford University. His doctoral work was done at New York University. He is a State University of New York faculty member.