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Soldiers in Town

Jeff Friedman

After morning drills, the soldiers mill through town, looking for something to do. One peeks in

the vacuum cleaner shop, staring at a young woman demonstrating a canister model, cleaning up scraps of paper and dog hair. Another orders a meal of eggs and toast in the diner, butting those in front of him with his rifle. Another scouts out the local salon for a pedicure that will keep his black toes at bay and make his heels smooth again. And another runs down the middle of the street, chasing an escaped truck tire, shouting, Clear a path.

Jeff Friedman has published nine collections of poetry and prose, including The Marksman (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2020), Floating Tales (Plume Editions/Madhat Press, 2017), and most recently The House of Grana Padano (Pelekinesis, April 2022), cowritten with Meg Pokrass.

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