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[This is the garden. Lock the gate.]

This is the garden. Lock the gate.

The dog is buried here.

                                                 The lilac bushes show

A marked derangement of the chromosomes.

Behind their blossoms twenty years ago,

Elizabeth, blonde, thirteen, undressed

                                                  for thirty cents

At Mr. Hawkins’ request. She is alive:

Two children: married an embalmer

                                                  in St. Paul.

I used to stand here summer evenings

                                                  in the dark

And hear the French horns throbbing

                                                  from the park

Band concert nights. Elizabeth, you

                                                  wounded me.

I live in Pittsburgh now. I will be

                                                  forty-two this fall.

This poem is attributed to the American poet Weldon Kees (1914–1955?). Although unsigned, it was found in among a fugitive cache of Kees’s papers and is in keeping with the poems he wrote in Denver between 1939–1942. Kees was also a fiction writer, painter, musician and composer, and filmmaker and is the subject of James Reidel’s 2003 biography Vanished Act: The Life and Work of Weldon Kees. Another previously unpublished poem from the Denver period can be found at Evergreen.

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