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Post Road Magazine #34

At the Neighborhood Cookout

Daniel Lassell

Firefighters hold out their boots.
Several kids climb
into the rubber and bring suspenders
over their shoulders, as if to measure
the weight. Flameproof trousers dangle
like lopsided hula hoops
around their tiny bodies.

Every head becomes a golden orb
of sunlight, halved and walking.
Help is on the way, one boy says,
because sirens can be warnings,
yes, but also signals.

They lift and hitch a canvas hose
to the truck’s side and roll her out
into a loving loop. This is Vera.
The kids waddle around her
and consider how she smacks
the walls of buildings—
how her pain can bring such healing.

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