This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Callista Buchen, is from Holding my Selves Together by Margaret Rozga, released by Cornerstone Press in 2021.
You wouldn’t know the city was under a curfew
not here, not on this southern edge of Milwaukee,
where I grew up. Where I still lived.
After supper, people did their usual.
Next door Mr. Stanisch cut his grass, as he did every other day,
alternating with setting out the sprinklers to water the lawn.
Mrs. Ziglin sent Kathy up to the corner store for sweet rolls.
The Campions came into the Dutchland Dairy where I worked part-time.
It was hot. They bought half a gallon of fresh frozen custard. Vanilla.
The cop who lived across the street
never brought little Frankie in for a treat.
His lawn seemed to stay clipped without being mowed.
His wife had a bad heart, we didn’t see much of her.
Maybe he worked overtime during the riot, again for the marches.
It was hard to say when he was home. Our paths didn’t cross.
Except once. A year earlier, he had a point to make.
My friends from the Youth Council had stopped by.
Next evening Sgt. Stachowiak crossed 44th Street
when I was alone in the front yard.
are more than welcome in
as long as they
Point made, he turned, took firm, flat-footed steps
back across the street to his house,
the impregnable prose of his lannon stone colonial.
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