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Poetry

Jennifer Schomburg Kanke

JenniferSch

Jennifer Schomburg Kanke, originally from Columbus, Ohio, lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where she edits confidential documents for the government. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Pleiades, and SWWIM. Her chapbook, Fine Considering, about her experiences undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer is available from Rinky Dink Press. She serves as a reader for Emrys.

The Accordionists of the Tour de France

They are there whether they are shown or not,
drunken, gap-toothed men and rosy-cheeked girls,
playing mainly to settle a restless crowd.

Our American television can’t handle it,
like we can’t handle the phallic smack talk
of the bright street paintings on the route.

We see the riders, we see the polka-dotted jersey,
marveling at his (always his) skill,
how he not only went up but came back down.

And beside him at the end, invisible to us,
are the slowly moving bellows
of a Fratelli Crosio, pumping away like a god.

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