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Stash’s Letter To His Lost Child

by Joseph Milosch

I haven’t worked for 24 weeks.
Instead, I walk the streets
in the hours I used to drive.

During these months,
I’ve come to wonder
if I’m too old to work.

Outside the small shop beside
an equipment yard, a mechanic
begins to torque the engine bolts.

The shop employs a Doberman Pincher
for a security guard. A black bird
jumps from the curb

where a baseball rests beside a cat-eyed marble.
I grab the ball and roll it across my hand.
I clean the moss and mud between the stitches

and wonder if our commonality is
that nothing
is more useless then we are

unless it is the sycamore leaves,
which have remained long enough
to coat the concrete black.

October

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