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January 2017, vol 12 no 4

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Michael S. Ryan

With the lantern collecting bugs

At the height of the dry season, jacaranda and frangipani trees full bloom in pale iridescent purple and brilliant orange. Their petals mirror a felled symmetry beneath. The second year of drought, some say three. The hydro-electric settles the random debate. I’m lucky, longer bouts of energy than others, thought this because I live on the same line as a past president and a retired vp. Driving home, I was stopped by a woman who has lived here seventeen years and runs a horse stable and riding center nearby where the road turns from asphalt to dirt to watch 23 workers cut limbs and sling new lines. Less symmetry. The power was out for 14 hours while they worked into the night. But before we drove away, she told me a business man who ate on top of his table used the other side to keep us in power. Through her open window she glanced at my truck, said ‘That seems a nice ride for a teacher.’

Two robberies in the dark
A twenty-two liter jug of water
Propped against the inside door