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  • CARLA HAGEN

For C.K., 1957-2022



Blonder, brassier, braver, you stride ahead, your Twitter handle bigmouthed broad. In the old demo photo, you tower over me, red harem pants, feet planted, this is my sidewalk. I smile for the flash, fellow traveler to your drum majorette for justice.


Oh, yes, I join you on the dance floor after sit-ins, skirt swirling to match yours,

but you’re always the first, with or without a partner, and while I mind my steps, check myself in the mirror, you whirl like the Texas wind, roll tumbleweed in your wake.


The day before the heart attack, you posted sunflowers in a blue vase, state fair

buzzing below. Good morning! A great day to fight fascism!

Now as cold bears down, I dread winter without your blaze.

CARLA HAGEN is the award-winning author of two novels, Hand Me Down My Walking Cane and Muskeg. Her work has appeared in anthologies, Voices for the Land and When Last on the Mountain, and in journals, Talking Stick, Saint Paul Almanac, Border Senses and Sing, Heavenly Muse! She is working on the third novel in her Minnesota-Canada Borderland Trilo.




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