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  • Writer's pictureKayleigh Willis

'the 17 previous me's' by Tony Rauch

before mike got his legs blown off for the country

before life stripped carol clean away from me

before they closed the plant and moved those jobs overseas to where mike got his legs blown off of him

before janelle left home that one day and we never saw her again

before jillian lost her ambition and just gave up

before carl got super busy with the house and kids and job

before the lumber yard closed one day and never reopened

before that big wind came along and changed it all around

before those new people showed up and got all the attention

before when we used to meet up

before when I used to go out

before when there was plenty of time

before when meribelle would still talk to me

before when everything seemed so easy

before when everything was right there, stretching out as far as your eyes could see

before when everything was still new and waited for me

before when the night didn’t feel so cold

Copyright. Tony Rauch.

Tony Rauch has four books of short stories published – “I’m right here” (Spout Press),

“Laredo” (Eraserhead Press), “Eyeballs growing all over me . . . again” (Eraserhead

Press), and " What if I got down on my knees? & quot; (Whistling Shade Press).

He has been interviewed and/or reviewed by the Prague Post, the Oxford Univ student

paper in England, Rain Taxi, the University of Cambridge paper, MIT paper, Georgetown

University paper, Iowa State paper, and the Savanna College of Art and Design paper,

among many other publications. He can be found at:

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