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Wednesday, October 09, 2013


by Howard Winn

Image source: International Marine Salvage

Men in space suits are removing
lead and asbestos
from a house down our street.
Begun in the twenties,
this house remained from when innocence
prevailed as did cancer the crab,
moving sideways into the lungs
and other vital organs, both male and female,
from room paint, hot air ducts and shingles
covering innocent Cape Cod cottages,
moon walkers in airtight costumes
earn a healthy living from the fear of death,
this summer house is  now year round.
It holds an angular blonde mother
who runs along Shore Road with like wives,
a sinewy square-jawed father who drives
his hefty SUV to work and to his health club,
and coaches his vigorous son for little league fame
in the weekly mowed large side lawn
cared for by a landscape service that comes
in substantial truck and trailer to haul away
the unwanted grass.
across the street from our front windows.
In the mist of life, death by carcinogens lurks
in the up-scale décor and in the pipes of necessity.
Running, running, running,
they cannot run away.
Running, running, running,
they cannot run away.
Nes est certain, vita est non

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.