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The Quiet Jars: New & Selected Poems by Ron Houchin

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Machine from Animal

Houchin, Ron

When I was a kid, I couldn’t tell
machine from animal.
The patience of those cars waiting 
all night at the curb, like horses 
tethered for hours outside saloons, 
disturbed my sleep.

In the fields, cows stood chewing
their cuds and shoving out manure.
Our washer or dryer shook 
and left a little red pool.  
My father wound a grasshopper 
up and let it leap into the weeds.  
It leaked a little oil in his palm. 

Yet, I rode our dog, and teased 
our cat, I climbed into our Plymouth 
and was driven off to school.  
I am still that kind of fool.

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