The kind you’re born with, the kind you choose, the kind that teach Catholic school
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I lived in Mississippi
when seventy-five cents cut
my hair twice a month.
I was a boy then
and boys stalked pastures
through lush trees
to camp where the mist was heavy.
My body hung damp with sweat,
summer kissed the trees.
was cool, the trees losing leaf
were gray, the sky clouded steel.
I found a fence tracing a line
of cedars, rust coated brown wire
above brown leaves ground
on the forest floor. Beyond
were woods and fields rolled sparse
with cattle, leaf sparse trees,
green grass to the gray horizon.
The future was that landscape
and my life a floating cloud
shadow on the grassy ground . . .
slammed finger bent since seven;
knee scar from summer camp; beard
hair and nails that grow, are cut,
grow. All these confirm and show
I am the same: