An interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the US South and their global connections
  • resep kue kering
  • resep kue
  • recept
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  • resep kue sus
  • resep ayam
  • resep soto ayam
  • resep ikan bakar
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  • resep ayam goreng
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  • Old Elementary

    Terrified or furious, my brother would call me:
    it's in there, he'd swear, in the old elementary—

    desperate to blame something—asbestos,
    radiation, unhappiness itself—

    to place, displace the cancer onto the first school
    he despised, in the despised small town

    where we grew up. I drive past it every time
    I go back there, the building abandoned

    years ago by all but vagrant pigeons.
    The utter childlessness of the playground

    fronts it, lifeless swings, foot worn furrows
    beneath, once slick from use, almost closed over,

    a cicatrix of dandelions and wire grass.
    Then the stern-faced architecture, strict dormers,

    the heavy, recessed doors through which we entered,
    two stories, walls all windows, every one

    he stared out from, his back to hissing radiators,
    oil-polished wood floors, crayonwax,

    pencil shavings, the chronic dust of lead,
    chalk, faint fear—and the long hallways

    not hard for me to imagine empty,
    dimly lit, where I recall waiting for him

    one cavernous afternoon, when all
    the other children had been released, and he

    was kept after, inside, in there, for punishment,
    in there for some small forgotten thing.


    Published: 26 October 2009
    © 2009 Claudia Emerson and Southern Spaces