Podcast Episode 7: Surprise

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Thank you very much for listening.

Hi, everyone, my name’s Catherine Rockwood, and today for the Reckoning Magazine Podcast, I’m going to be reading you “Surprise” by Tom Barlow, which is featured in Reckoning 6.

Surprise

My hometown was already a wreck by the

time I arrived. Nimishillen Creek ran

 

motor oil and sewer slops behind the

high school, and downtown disappeared in

 

smoke the day fathers lit their coal furnaces.

Deer and bluebirds were as rare as the

 

people who worried about the deer and

the bluebirds, and we hurled beer cans

 

onto the roadside like our heroes threw

hand grenades. We rode our motorbikes

 

up and down the slag heaps left us by

the strip miners who took their money

 

and moved as far away as they could afford

from the ruin that funded their move, and

 

there was joy everywhere in the conviction

that America went on forever and nothing

 

we could do would ever fill it up.

 

Surprise.