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Albuquerque, NM, 1950’s

My family’s dinner table precarious
on top of a mountain,
my father talking at length
about lesser beings below:

angry people yelling,
driving fast;

misbehaving children,
not doing homework;

lowlife teens gone bad, drinking,
hot rods, tattoos;

Beatniks in black turtlenecks,
spouting poetry, pretending
to be nonconformists
while conforming to each other.

The table so high, air so thin,
it was hard to breathe.

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