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Summer/Fall 2020


Seth Grindstaff

As a boy, dad read to me nights,
my head on the salt-lick of his shoulder.

Sundown turned him in from gardening
tomatoes and talk of rain to story and prayer.

His t-shirt I wore to bed was thin
as boiled tomato peels on mom’s countertop.

The cotton shirt had lost its lettering
but wearing it, oversized as it was,

felt a sureness wrapped in sureness,
a safety planted into safety. Like when

my wife and I lived in our first apartment
and had no plants to tend, yet come laundry day

when I folded my favorite high school t-shirt
back into her drawer, it was a thinly-veiled

hope, see-through as honest prayer
after night hemmed us into bed,

where we made our own garden, searching softness
under softness, washing after washing.


[Check out Seth Grindstaff back porch interview]

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