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Cahuenga Pass by Arthur Vogelsang

May 15, 1988

A gypsy in a yellow chemise came out of a cardboard carton Used as a house in some hills in the city With her glass juice bottle and walked toward the reservoir. A daughter, probably, followed in a dull, ironlike sweatshirt With two juice bottles. One's bare legs maybe to ticks, The other's bare feet maybe to glass. They will have accents and brands of follies and vices that are their own, That I couldn't live with. At distance, it is picturesque, even the daughter's bald rear Is calm and without relation, like a beast's. A pack of different-sized feral dogs came along another day, Then three auburn jackrabbits the size of children, And now the woman and the girl with the heavy water bottles both On angular legs getting traction in the sand.

From "Twentieth Century Women" (University of Georgia Press: $13.95, cloth; $6.95, paper; 62 pp.), a volume in Georgia's "Contemporary Poetry Series," edited by Bin Ramke. Vogelsang, who lives in Los Angeles, is the author of a previous collection of poetry and an editor of "American Poetry Review."

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