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04
16
05
Self Portrait as Goliath as a County Deputy


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Goliath turns onto Ashdod Drive
off Highway 64, parks his brown car

in the right lane. He doesn't want complaints
about tire tracks on someone's snow muddy

lawn. Goliath smiles and waves to the woman
who's already through her screen-door, approaching

with a look of grim amusement. His big
voice says, "Could you help me round up these boys!

I have a little bit I need to jaw
at them." Kids gather quiet around him.

He surveys the tribe of ten or twelve—
the tallest coming up to his belt buckle.

Scooping the ice from the hood of his squad
car, packing it into a ball, he says,

"I don't want to spoil you boys fun, but ice
balls can hurt somebody, break a windshield,

cause accidents on the highway. Some kids
were throwing snowballs at cars down the road—

I'm not saying it was y'all." He squats down
and picks up a jagged rock, presses it

into the ice with his thumb and packs it
down. "Stones can do harmful damage." Children

nod. "When I was young we put rocks in snow
so it would throw farther—broke the window

on a milk truck my Daddy had to pay
for it and that's no fun I tell you what."

He rubs his temples, scans faces, none
he recognizes as with the group

by the highway. Goliath gets in
his car and rolls off. Near the onramp

he pulls into a tree-lined enclosure
to nod, his head feels about to fall off.


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post #76
bio: john ball
perma-link
4/16/2005
09:13

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