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Illinois boy picks, gathers, works—
certain something—sensing, smelling, calling
a wild wonder approaches, nears and lurks
in this joyful moment 'rasslin', tumbling, falling.

Blinding truth shakes, shouts, out-bursts—
"Alive I am! Am! Am!
Alive I run! Jump! And shout!
Alive I feel! Think! Know!"

And every thing is now renewed, rediscovered, reborn—
Every thought enlightens, thrills, turns gold
Unbearable awareness now fills, fuels and fires
For God's eyes will see, will catch, and will hold.

This glorious day to squeeze, save, and shelve
in dandelion wine, fermented, distilled, stocked.
Basement crypt will shelter, protect, and secure
deep joy. Preserve, keep, lock.

Surreal blow now stings, shocks, stuns!
Closest friend farewells, moves, and is gone.
Lonely half-self remains, cries, goes numb—
Blood-brother is separated and severed. Done.

The aged raconteur who delighted, described and detailed—
The living Time Machine—falls, drops and lies.
Last witness is silenced, stopped, stilled.
Fallen storyman gasps, passes, and dies.

The Green Machine struck, hit, killed.
The dreadful secret—Keep! Carry! Hold peace!
Dear neighbors! Must shield, shelter, protect!
Fun rides are finished, concluded, have ceased.

Trolley bells sang, chimed, rang!
But the final ride is ridden, finished, completed.
Last streetcar retired, removed, replaced.
Familiar lift is gone, vanished, defeated.

Illinois boy stands, stares, weeps.
The once-friendly ravine yields, reveals, uncovers
the murdered girl, now covered, carried, and buried.
Mythical safety evaporates, dissolves, suffers.

A hundred hopes were needed, yearned for, did hunger.
But a thousand blows fall, strike, find.
Golden laughter dries, fails, falls under,
And summer's tears stream, choke, and blind.

Tireless Great-grandma lies-down, rests, tires.
Her life's end reaches, accepts and takes.
Final peace she asks, offers, makes,
And last kisses gives, farewells—forsakes!

Illinois boy concedes, surrenders, resigns
futile hopes shrugs off, casts away and dashes.
Rejected fireflies—flashing, flitting, and falling
Firefly jar he opened, emptied, and smashes.

Fire-hot night thickens, envelopes, enshrouds
Fire-hot day burns, grips, oppresses.
Burning bed swelters, melts, stifles
Burning breath labors, sears, distresses.

Half-conscious thoughts despair, defeat, destroy
Half-conscious sounds, pound, rail, and storm
Fevered visions turn, toss, torment
Fevered senses whimper, numb, mourn

Steaming stillness descends, stings and covers,
Quiet coma surrounds, swells, smothers.
Illinois boy lies, pants, and sweats.
Searing breath burns in, burns out, burns yet.

Passing Junkman stops, speaks, blesses
Rare gift—leaves, instructs, departs.
Loving breeze strokes, kisses, caresses

Irish mists—Uncap! Drink! Breathe in!
Artic chill—Uncap! Drink! Breathe-in!
Wintergreen winds—Uncap! Drink! Breathe in!
Stranger’s love—Uncap! Drink! Breathe in!

Illinois boy sleeps, rests, lives.
New morning—awakes, arises, dresses.
Precious family—Relish! Cherish! Run to!
And unpredictable life, he savors, welcomes, embraces.

Junkman's gift received, dreaded, and loved
Dandelion life. Uncap. Drink down. Live!

© jon zuck
norfolk, september 23, 1998

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