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On The Hottest July Nights
by Lyn Lifshin

when the apartment bricks
soaked up hours of heat
and light and even with
a fan on in the rooms
over Otter Creek there
wasn’t a breeze. Air
was  a thick blanket
no one could sleep or
breathe under. We’d
get in the grey Plymouth
and drive to my grand
mother’s house with
its screened in porch on
North Pleasant. By 9
the peonies filled
with night water. I
lay on the green glider,
my Ship ‘n Shore blouse
sticking to my shoulders,
waiting for anything
to move, for my father
to say something, be
like other fathers. I
wanted a father I could
run to who could toss
me up in the air and
be there to catch me

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