Jon Horton
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Smoke

On my old mother's lawn
I rake evening leaves
move them into pile and pile
set them smoldering

As a boy
I rode my bike
through smoking evenings
to football on the courthouse lawn

As a teen
I hid with my girl
in the darkening park
smoke thick in our throats

As a man
I drove evening roads
cruising strange autumnal towns
pungent with loneliness and smoke

Older
and finally changed
I put away the pain
and followed the changing leaves home

I am now the burner

From my old mother's lawn I watch
a boy ride by on his bike
young lovers hurry to the dusky park

I stare at a moving stranger and his car

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Jon Horton

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