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His hearing’s going.

That’s a fact.

After the last coach car,

the Missouri River Runner

cannot be heard

for more than ten seconds

before the redbuds resume

and his dog pulls at the leash.


Still, he holds on listening,

and watches west

from the Couch Street bridge

on a day when

he’s lucky enough

to be out, to be here,

to hear gone.

Terry Minchow-Proffitt lives in St. Louis, MO but was raised in the Arkansas Delta. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and magazines. His chapbook, Seven Last Words (2015), and his first full collection, Chicken Train: Poems from the Arkansas Delta (2016), were published by Middle Island Press. He's liable to go on at times about Johnny Cash as his favorite contemporary saint.

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