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Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011 03:32 pm

catalpaforest poem concluded

you could buy your way out of the civil war pay someone two hundred dollars to take your place the farmer on the road near us (well before my grampa was born) did so his replacement was killed. many years later a maimed ex-soldier – eye an empty hole leg missing below the knee – limped by with a cart of catalpa shoots catalpa makes strong fence posts the farmer felt so guilty he bought the entire cartload “but did he feel guilty enough to plant those shoots himself?” the elderly informant told my grandpa “no, I was his hired man and I planted every one in rows down by the crick it was a miserable hot job!” so that is the forest we kids discovered and played in so happily growing up it is still there beside the stream ancient but flourishing a massy green oasis amid warehouses fast food the rush of I-90

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