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An old woman hired us to scythe
a vacant lot beneath a tall, white billboard.
Rusty scythes with wooden handles.
Dry weeds and dry grass and the sound
a scythe makes, and the leaping
of the grasshoppers, and the sun beating down
and the cars rushing by. The dark stilts
the billboard rose on smelled of creosote.
Lunchtime she brought us sandwiches,
spam on white bread, with catchup, wrapped
in aluminum foil, and we straightened our backs
and thank-you-ma’am-ed. I’ll never forget
that sandwich. That morning. What I can’t
remember is what the billboard said.