Gary Margolis

For Addison County Teachers and Staff Nothing like the principal seeing you again, after so many months, walking down our school’s stairs. Looking up and saying “You look beautiful.” As if we had been prepping, putting on make-up, in between classes, in our home rooms. And not, actually at home, teaching a screen-full of children. Telling a few to sit back, they don’t have to be this close to the screen. Don’t have to shout, when they think no one’s listening. Strange, isn’t it, to think each day we’re getting through this? We’re still beautiful. At the same time remembering Our Lady of...
Taken         for the pickers   The apples are used to those men, their hands, their songs. Used to rolling down   their arms into baskets. Into crates. Carted off to the cold, storage house.   This month most of them will drop on their own accord. Twist off their stems   because of the wind. The yellow jackets won’t know what to do with   so many of them. Some days one is enough to drill into. To lose   a stinger. Sunday nights the apples will miss listening to the men singing   their hymns. We’ll miss going to church for their hymn sing. Later, standing around a fire of fruit wood with...
Returning to School, To Town   Across the way, a new pod of tents behind the field house. And a gaggle of orange traffic cones. Set out by Buildings and Grounds   to direct the returning students where to go, where to line-up to be tested without their parents. Downtown, all summer, workers,   masked, have been rebuilding the crumbling bridge, graveling the new railroad tracks. Not as bad as everyone expected   having to drive around for awhile, walk a different path. To take you where you’re going. Of course things can’t be the same   as they were. Russ Reilly, our football announcer, used...
The We of Rayshard Brooks   Isn’t it a privilege to fall asleep in the front seat of your car,   pass out, some nights, from a night of drinking? And not worry.   Not worry you could wake-up dead. Having been found, and not asked just   to move along. Shake off the night. To drive through the drive-through, sober   or drunk from drinking in the stars, through the moonroof. An accessory   you could afford without worrying too much about being   overcharged. Becoming lost in space. Between the black   and white lines in a parking lot. A few spaces reserved for the disoriented.   You could...
Consolation   Don’t expect my friend Karl Lindholm to be sitting next to you at the end of a close basketball game. The clock winding down   to red, double zeros. Don’t be surprised if you find him, across the gym, near the free nosebleed seats, chatting and pacing   nonchalantly. As if it doesn’t matter who wins, which it does. As if a game’s all in good fun, Which might be true, if it wasn’t   our team who’s playing. Trying to win a W, beat the brains out of a team whose bus is starting to warm-up   in the parking lot. If my mother were here, she’d say my friend Karl had “spilkes,”...
I could be thinking of almost anyone Today it’s the midfielder who has to say Goodbye to his teammates, without   Having played half of the season. Who has to wave a virtual farewell. Without a high-five. Touching   Sticks at the end of a game. A sign That means more today, when these College men can’t shake hands.   Won’t be able to go to the goal again  Anytime soon. Of course this is only a  small example. And not to be compared    To a country on lockdown. Everyone  In the world doing what they can to stop The contagion. And not pretend the infection   Doesn’t affect them too. That we...
I’m running for the first time for First Constable in my town of Cornwall   Vermont. Sue Johnson, our Town Clerk, tells me the duties are non-existent,   if not minimal. In fact, she says, the Select Board doesn’t allow the constable   to do anything. No badge-wearing. No pulling over a speeding driver. Arresting a dog   for not wearing his tag. Not investigating the rumor the Town Poet might have   stolen a line from his neighbor. As Frost said, when a reporter asked him where he found his free   spoken lines. To which he retorted, from a Dragon in Ripton Vermont, where he lived in the...
Not enough mud to say it’s mud season yet. That’s in March, April   and May. Just enough for the deer to leave a good impression.   On the dirt road. Among the spent shells. And someone   else’s glistening boot tracks. The turkeys slip here,   too, losing their trail of feathers.   The wind’s likely to make a headdress of. To catch   on a crown of antlers. There’s still   a skin of ice, we have to think twice   about. And not enough gravel to make us feel sure   of ourselves. Until July. Our spring.   Our summer. Fall slipping toward winter.   — Gary Margolis, Cornwall
Russ Reilly, who among other things was a long-time announcer at Middlebury College football games, died July 24. A memorial service will be held at Mead Chapel on the Middlebury campus this Saturday, Sept. 21, at 3 p.m. For many years, Gary Margolis sat next to Reilly in the football announcer’s booth, spotting and running the 25-second clock.   Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, you would say, please remove your caps and honor this great country of ours.   As Legion Post 27 presents our colors. The word great bouncing off the peaks of the Green Mountains, beginning   to turn orange again...
The Caterpillar   At the Addison County Field Days, our local county fair, there’s a new act called   The President. A professor, off for the summer, does a card trick   he doesn’t have a good explanation for. How it works.   Producing a card that seems to have been shot out of a cannon. Swirled   in a tube of cotton candy. Without a number, a face or one of the four suits.   To let you know that’s the one you picked, without touching it. It’s blank. An end-of-summer   memory. A whirl-a-gig of sorts. The Caterpillar. You can sit in with a friend, who becomes   your girlfriend, when the ride...

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Addison County Independent