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22 the minnesota review Stephen M. Gibson Florida Sinkhole, 1981 Somehow as if there never was a bottom to it, the ground's collapsed, taking with it sand, gravel, the back yard from under someone's steps. The house is next, but they've abandoned it, and the car they somehow didn't salvage. Maybe, when such things happen they happen quick. I guess — (it's backing out of a garage which has no back to it) they'll have a hard time of it. A thousand feet across already. The town is worried the cemetery's next; that if it isn't lost entirely, at best the graves've shifted — which happens anyway. I know, because I worked in one two summers, when I turned sixteen — a job my mother got for me through a friendly priest. (That's when, to get my working-papers, I copied his death certificate and found my father'd left five sons, not three. — I've two brothers, and two in name I've never met, by another woman.) If the dig they'll find the graves've shifted; that those they've prayed to may have piled up, a logjam, elsewhere; that one spot is like another above-ground, except for the markings. He died in Florida. I'll be a year older than he was when he left. ...


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