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First Saturday of Summer in Virginia | The Nation

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First Saturday of Summer in Virginia

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Day lilies dotting the ditches orange,
between tilting mailboxes, amid blue chicory
and swales of yellow buttercups.

Northwest on Jefferson Highway, alert for bright
yellow signs printed YARD SALE,
freight train clanging on my right. To follow

arrows onto gravel driveways through the woods
to arrive at run-down trailers or two-story
homes with wraparound porches, wide front lawns

and tables of children’s clothing, glassware,
games, dolls, obsolete electronics. All around,
blue tarps on wet grass with bags of worn quilts

and sheets, paired shoes and boots, jeans laid out
like Civil War soldiers piled in an open grave.
To drive from sale to sale as the sun climbs

the sky, blue as Hollywood eyes, coffee
in a GO cup. To end at the Art & Craft Show
at St. Jude’s, where men with orange flags direct parking

across the street from mounds of mulch, gravel, sand,
compost. To watch a teen tap dance to the beat
of a jangly country song, swirling her flared skirt.

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