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Yokohl Valley, Tulare County, California
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Last Spring in Yokohl
Write it
the voice said, the one
inside my head
at dawn. Oh no
the one outside my head
said in reply,
too late.

Write it so even
the most complacent of us
will feel the loss, will want
to drive that old
one-and-a-half lane road
one last time
before it’s improved
before it’s disappeared

beneath the weight of heavy equipment:
bulldozers, graders, backhoes
and things I don’t even want to know
the names of, beneath the press
of what some folks call progress,
under the heel
of the invisible boot.

Write it for all the settlers
who once tried to make that valley
home. Write it for the school children
who learned their three R’s right there
beside the windmill, just across
from the dynamite shack. Write it
for Joe Ely the barber, the last
Yokodo born on that land
who never slit a white man’s throat
despite the opportunities. Write it
for yourself, despite the agonies
of facing that land’s demise
so when it’s gone you won’t
slit your own.

Write it even for the cyclists
who fly across the landscape
too fast to see
except when pumping hard

Write it so the big men
will feel some guilt. Write it
so the cowboys and ranch hands,
the ones almost out of a job,
will feel honored. Write it so
the tragedy of too much
money power land
in ignorant hands
will be clear
as day.

But don’t just write it
a third voice said somewhere between
inside and out, within the gray zone dividing
dark and light. Sing it, she said compellingly,
a suggestive note in her voice
modulating up half a step.

Sing it sweet
for the meadowlarks
warbling on rusty barbed wire.
Sing it soft so there’s no hard line
between you and them. Sing it long
until no reservations remain whether to move
or stay put and lose. Sing it clear so there’s no
second guessing, no second opinions, no
second chances for those with dreams
of developing that valley
by destroying it.
Sing it, she said
so I will.

By Trudy Wischemann.
Reprinted by kind permission from Dry Crik Review

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I found this mirror in a candy shop. Of course, I couldn’t resist taking a selfie. In the process, a senior gentleman gently took me by the shoulders, turned me so that I was at a right angle, and advised me, "There. Now take the picture. You look thinner."

Sarah Kaufman – Pro MMA Fighter – Main Event at AFC 5
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Name: Sarah Kaufman
Professional Female MMA Fighter
Record: 12-1-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
Wins: 9 KO/TKO, 3 Decision
Weight: 135lbs
Height: 5’5
Fighting out of: ZUMA Martial Arts
City: Victoria
Former Strikeforce Welterweight (135) Champion

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