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by Richard Hoffman

An old gray oak
downed in the street.
I was five. Fallen
on its side, impossible

roots above me.
In the street, a wire
twitched and sparked.

I was lifted up
on someone's shoulders.

All in one memory all I need.


Richard Hoffman is the author of seven books, including the celebrated Half the House: a Memoir, published in a Twentieth-Anniversary Edition last year, and the 2014 memoir Love & Fury. His work, both prose and verse, has appeared regularly for the past forty years in such journals as Consequence, Harvard Review, The Literary Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. A former chair of PEN New England, he is senior writer in residence at Emerson College. (4/2017)

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