1978 by Mike James

my grandmother burned her outhouse down
insisted, at last, on indoor plumbing

my brother quit high school, amid my
father’s curses and my mother’s sighs,

joined the navy which sent him nowhere
more exotic than california in his three years

uncle mason finished building his fishing boat
used scrap lumber (called it crap lumber)

a heart attack took him the next summer
aunt virginia left the boat to rats and squirrels

around the world jim jones led the guyana mess
also a new pope came and left, quickly, in rome

i learned how to peddle my bike downhill
saw superman three times with my then best friend

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