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Make a Law That Loves the One Who Breaks It--After Jerry Lewis

by Erica Bodwell

make pipes under sidewalks hot with steam     sidewalks slick with dripping slush                                                                                                         grocery carts whose tires chew through snow     tracks that lead to lighted tents that glow     let hospice workers feel safe enough to visit     make the stepson keeper of the morphine     let his father pick through encampments     let him shine a light in tent after tent     make the city scatter coats and batteries     let the father lead the clean up effort                                                                                                         make shelter-garden show hyacinth and crocus     make reporters document first purples     make photographers lie level with papery blooms     let gardener show her blackened grin     let her husband be drunk and crush the green       when the father                                         is the first one home that day and the corpse is cold let no one hear him say, so, today is the day     let his daughter take gymnastics and late bus     let the story be the waiting                                                    and the not knowing      make a law that prostrates itself at the feet of luck     let cop                                                                                                     have gotten laid that morning and his cheeks retain their highest glow     make him dream mother of his children     stride through camp      step lightly around the tulips                                                                let him ignore smashed glass     scattered needles     let mercy settle in like march mist                                                                                                   let there be no audience that day      let the one moon shine in star-pricked sky     let it reflect in a thousand puddles


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