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  Ander Monson
Ander Monson grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He lived briefly in Saudi Arabia, Iowa, and
Ander Monson
in the Deep South, where he received his MFA from the University of Alabama. He is the editor of the magazine DIAGRAM and the New Michigan Press. His stories, essays, and poems have appeared in many literary magazines, including The North American Review, Fence, Field, Gulf Coast, The Bellingham Review, Ploughshares, Boston Review, and the Mississippi Review, among others. He teaches at Grand Valley State University and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his wife, Megan, and three cats. Earlier this year, Tupelo Press published his first poetry collection, Vacationland. His fiction collection Other Electricities was simultaneously published by Sarabande Books.

Lawrence Welk Dies

Ander Monson
And men in Craftmatic adjustable beds recline,
their hearts on momentary pause—my father
one of them; all our fathers one of them, those
fathers who made us turn the show on to light
up evenings otherwise irreducibly devoted
to the one long task, shoveling the snow back
from the drivewaysix inches accumulation
each hour, and the plows steady on the roads,
plowmen grinning, filled with Citgo "Cappuccinos"
and old mail-order mints. Pine-smelling fathers
in from the woods and that hack day of work
felling Christmas trees with manual saws back
and forth and axe-arcs generated by shoulders,
let loose into air. That man in the great suit
and those twin conducting arms long enough
for two trombones is dead. And liquor is still
being sold to minors trolling in on snowmobiles—
machines that serve as proof of age—and men
are losing limbs. The old high school is down;
all that architecture dusted, and the future is on
skis cross-countrying towards this house tonight.
That future has a thirty-ought strapped to its back,
bolt-action digging in below the scapula and xyphoid
process. Kids in school are still afraid to perform
mouth-to-mouth on that nasty dummy, in spite
of all the antiseptic sprays and what-if-it-was-your-
dying-sisters? Who among us will be the one to press
our lips to it, to breathe that cord of wood
back to life, to take up the old and greased
garage sale trombone, lead the band, stun
a life right out of Branson and the Lennon
Sisters and listen to that Jo Ann Castle play.

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