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November 7, 2019

November Day

morning yawns a frosty one this far north
calls for hot cocoa in the chipped Green Bay Packers cup
that belonged to my father
now dead for many years and buried ‘neath the frozen tundra
I remember that I didn’t shed any tears
but I had a few beers in his honor at the corner bar
cold window pane graffiti blocks my view 
of neighborhood houses with exhausted paint
and cyclone and wooden fences that make a good neighbor 
birthday coming up and I think I’ll have a surprise party 
it’ll be a surprise if anyone shows up to my house
nobody wants to come to this decaying side of town
dying city full of dying folks
heart attacks and strokes
friends moved away—escaped the rot that gnaws at you
factories almost all dormant now-rusting into their graves
jobs and prosper-i-ty now a thing of the past
I sip my cocoa under the stained glass light in the kitchen 
the one my mother always wanted and bought a long time ago
she’s dead now too—it’ll be five years in June
younger brother gone, I’m the only one left
me and Pepper my black lab who keeps me company 
and doesn’t judge me when I sometimes break down