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Robert Preuss lives in upstate New York.
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for christina

march 11, 2000

the banjo notes like
an empty bottle
back a little
to a stop like
the train
at the station
the one that

well you
know what

itís the one in the frame
that comes after
the lichtenstein painting

forty-one years itís
taken me to appreciate

any more than that
and iíd have fallen down
the well lost the crop
to flood been left at
the station
trapped in the cave-in
at the mine
and my heart left to
dangle from barbed rusty wire
as my darliní runs off
with a salesman from
the city
which doesnít keep
the revenuers from bustiní up
my still

itís the downhill lie
from which you guys play
your shots

the momentun of a
handcar hurtliní down
the shaft
through all these
biblical riddles

my hatís off to you
the high black felt one
that flops over my ears
misshaping me to grasp
a reality just enough
out of tune
to feel something

but itís another
gift to me from my
purty young wife
iím afraid
and nothiní of mine
or yours

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