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Steve De France


As a child I would hold out my hand
for nickels & dimes.
He would reach into his vest,
next to his gold watch chain,
& jingle them into my hand like magic.
I remember my grandfather, bending down,
a distinguished man, in a striped three-piece suit.

Before I was 8 years old he died.
It seems so distant,
long ago now.
Almost like a film I'd once seen.
After his funeral I'd wait at the
corner expecting him to come home.
I waited for weeks until our neighbor told me
after a funeral people don't ever come back.
That night I dreamt
he was in front of a very long line.
Standing at the precipice
of some vast ethereal chasm.
I was at the back of the line.
I called.
He waved
& dissolved into shadow.

It doesn't seem so very long ago,
yet today, I'm standing in the same
line. There are a few in front of me.
But I'm close to the precipice.
The difference is
there is no one left
at the back of the line,
no one to wait at the corner
for me to return.


Steve De France MFA has traveled widely in the United States. On more than one occasion he hitch-hiked across America. He rode rails on freight trains, worked as a laborer with pick up gangs in Arizona, dug swimming pools in Texas, did 33 days in the Pecos city jail as a vagrant, fought bulls in Mexico, and dove for salvage off a small island on the coast of Mazatlan. His poetry has been published in most of the English speaking countries of the world. Some recent publications include, The Evergreen Review, The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Sun, Rattle, and many others. He has won writing awards in England and in the United States. He continues to write poetry, plays, essays & short stories.
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