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16 the minnesota review Rebecca Hood-Adams Lines for Mrs. Maude Collins on her 100th Birthday Clock quit keepin' time I don't know when; Jesus knows I'm ready, He's measured out my hours; Marked every cell; given me Eyes, full of pictures, As the old days dance Like a parade across the room. Daddy pulls me to his lap, I smell safe field dust on his shirt; Brother takes me by the hand And leads me to that water Where the preacher waits; Licked clean like the calf, I rise up and all the sisters shout. Cousin Virgie at the door, Says mob done kilt my husband; Children hangin' on my skirt And I've no words to tell them. Drought dries up the crops And hunger sits down at my table; Legs give way, then fingers stiff, I cannot thread the needle. It's all one And just the same to me; Don't need no calendar To mark my memories; Live long enough Newspaper sends out Hood-Adams 17 Some white lady, Always askin' why; I smile when she Wants to wind the clock. Just Another Story At first they thought Somebody opened a window, A rush of air so sharp Had to be a cross draft; Chill made even editors shiver. And then the word spread— Sheriff. Suicide. Service station. Corner of Fifth and Issaquena. They turned, all one motion, And saw Wilson's face, realized Air was the sound of sucking breath. Months he'd dogged him, until Sheriff Benton Saw Wilson's shadow creep across dreams. Drug money missing, tampered evidence; Rumors blew up and down the streets Like leaves scurrying before October's indictments. And Wilson, most cautious man in the newsroom, Chased down every lead, closing in, Closing in, Pulitzer's pulse throbbing Each day at deadline. Now the Sheriff's dead—blown away While the gas jockey filled his tank— And the grand jury won't convene, And the widow will weep, "Innocent!" And a dozen letters snarling spite will accuse: "You drove him to it! Murderous!" While Wilson—most cautious—spends his nights Going over notes, re-checking every detail, Making certain accuracy was served. ...


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