V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





Life jacket rank and orange
and the boat snagged on a branch beneath the surface. 

The heads of snapping turtles bob beyond the oars,
dream of nipping toes.
Small bluegill bite and run.
The boy wants to keep them all,
wants to throw them back.

Tonight the fire pops and hisses
as he listens to the men,
voices low and rhythmic,
waves echoing against the dock.
Sleep nibbles below a tattered sky,
stars sparkling fish scales strewn atop the water.

Memory will flash and scatter like this,
the past so much debris,
like oil shimmering on a liquid surface,
or last night's fire burned to smoldering ash.
The boy wades into the dream of a lake,
each turn in his sleep like the flight of a loon.

© by Brent Fisk


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