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The Native


In Tokyo, or maybe Nagasaki,

you'll find a photo of Yours Truly, taken

down at Wolski's Tavern in Milwaukee,

early in the Ford administration.


I was wearing short-shorts, and a cotton

T-shirt (tie-dyed pink, running to green),

plus a sweater—carefully flea-bitten

in the manner favored by James Dean.


A chartered bus was idling right behind me

as tourists from Japan leapt out the door,

their flashbulbs blasting bright enough to blind me,

preserving me on film forevermore.


And now, years later, when they wax nostalgic

about their thrilling trip to the U.S.,

they'll peer and gape again at that authentic

outback woman, in her native dress.


Marilyn L. Taylor



© 2004; originally printed in Cream City Review.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

Background by
Purple Woods

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