in the house
echoes with you
like the ocean
in an abandoned shell.
Say it slowly; it rolls
off the tongue like a raindrop
down a pane. It can light
a driveway or map the world.
Doctors describe the results
of the blast: contamination, rupture,
questionable return of vision.
But what does he see now?
A world devoid of color
or phantom images of the blinding?
The River's Edge
I've never taken 157 South until today.
The road looks different, the ups
become downs, curves reversed.
Driveways that were hidden lead
to fronts of houses,
once back doors.
State route 157 North,
my road to the barn.
Daily I drive at sixty-five
to get there, passing the brick house
tucked behind white oaks,
For Sale sign at the end
of the drive. Over the one lane bridge,
I see only the right side
of the old farm house,
the tin roof and pine green shutters.
Sometimes in my mind, I walk the road
backwards. What curve did I miss
by taking the left? Was there a bridge
with room for two? Would I be able
to track the single line of footsteps
back and take the right turn?
GRAY SUNDAY, 1963
I was at the sink stacking dishes in the washer
after breakfast. Dad's face appeared
at the kitchen door. Something was wrong.
I don't remember how they told me.
My horse was dead, spooked
into a metal post, must have hit
an artery, bled to death.
It was Sunday. God didn't let
things like this happen.
Didn't go to church that day.
We had to bury Big Red.
My parents wouldn't let me watch.
The bulldozer had to drag him to the hole.
Spent the rest of the day trying to be brave
but after every phone call, I cried some more.
I've had other horses,
watched one die
as wind picked at his mane.
But I haven't been back to church.
HUNTING THE CHILDREN
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Lord of the lagoon,
a Great Egret stalks
among the reeds.
A baby duck strays,
the plumed hunter
stilts to dry ground.
From the yellow beak,
webbed feet dangle.
Green Hills Literary Lantern