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This poem is taken from PN Review 221, Volume 41 Number 3, January - February 2015.

‘Primer’ and Other Poems Dan Burt
Primer

Mom slides two bucks
in the beat cop’s palm
to ignore her Chevy
by the hydrant,  
and goes for her weekly manicure.
Dad’s sawbuck
buys the checker’s wink
at the way-bill he should clock
for thefts,
like the hams that lie
with our order on the loading dock.
Yeah, two-bit bribes,
but they knead and mould
the plastic mind of an eight-year-old.



Practice

We learned law was a calling
to build the new Jerusalem.
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