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By James Tate

James Tate turns out either awed and bemused by means of small-town lifestyles in those forty-four tales choked with legends, flights of fancy, tragedies, and small ruptures in usual lifestyles. His narrators communicate in an idiom that's strange and fully American.

"When he turns to prose, this Pulitzer Prize-winning poet shows an incredibly simple style."—Details

James Tate is the writer of fourteen books of poetry and the recipient of diverse awards: fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim foundations, the nationwide ebook Award, and the Pulitzer Prize.

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Fish and corn-on-the-cob. Did you have a good day? ” “Oh, you know Garrett. It was on time, but I think he made up some of the figures. His mind’s on baseball this time of year. The rest is just going through the motions. ” Mr. Norris picked up the newspaper and scanned the front page. ” “I saw the skunk again last night, Clifford, after you went to bed. He’s not afraid of me. I was standing five feet from him for the longest time. I followed him around the yard with the flashlight. I think he would have let me pet him, really.

Reluctantly he put down his tools and climbed the steps to the kitchen. ” She handed him the binoculars that she seemed to carry everywhere since she had gotten back. “By God, it’s a wild turkey. Well isn’t that something. ” The huge bird could have been mistaken for a small ostrich, he 33 WELCOME SIGNS had to grant her that. And now that he thought about it, it was pretty funny. “An ostrich,” he chuckled. ” And then he returned to the basement. The sun was setting as Mrs. Norris finished the dishes and polished the counter.

Mrs. Norris cleaned the dishes while Mr. Norris puttered with a table he was making in the basement. She saw something moving on the edge of the woods that abuts their property. It was something large and unfamiliar and she called to Mr. Norris in the basement. “Come here, Cliff. There’s an ostrich out here. ” “What the hell are you yelling about? ” She was always yelling at him when he was working in the basement. It was one thing that had annoyed him for years, and that hadn’t changed. ” Reluctantly he put down his tools and climbed the steps to the kitchen.

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