The Dreampurple Light by Leila Allison

Whatever happened to the power-chord?
To which my boyfriend lit a bowl

Was A Stairway to Heaven really the greatest song?
Think it over as you pass that on

Said he’d love me till the end of time;
Forever came to stay in 1989

Still, he was never all so great;
For me that bell had tolled in ‘88

Thirty years go by in the glaze of an eye;
Can it be it’s always the promising future that lies?
 

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When my sister Tess and I were girls we’d often visit our father’s grave in New Town Cemetery. Although he had died suddenly when I was two and Tess an infant (thus destined to be little more to us than a face in the family photo album and a grave in the cemetery), we’d make time for “Dear Father” because we had agreed that it was the sort of thing daughters should do. I would recite a psalm memorized from Granna Ivy’s Bible, and Tess would lay a hastily clapped-together bouquet of daisies, buttercups and bluebells on his headstone. I recall admonishing her for the frequent inclusion of dandelions to the arrangement, “Those are weeds, numbskull.” Tess would defend the addition of dandelions on the grounds that “Nobody grows daisies, buttercups or bluebells on purpose, either, bonehead.”

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The Time My Dad Chewed Out a Cop by James Hanna

Dad and I are shooting brown rats at the Putnam County Dump. I’ve got me a .22 Long Rifle while Dad has a Winchester 70 with a scope. We keep a tally of the rats we shoot ’cause that makes it a bonding experience. So far, I’ve plastered six of them while Dad’s shot seventeen. We’re shooting good ’cause there’s a harvest moon out and we can see them like it was daylight. And Dad’s been swigging Johnny Walker to keep his hands from shaking. A couple belts of Johnny Walker turns Dad into Daniel Boone.

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