Scott Brennan: "Toboggan"



Pick the red up just above the steeple

(skinny, titanium needle), the background

peeling birches and a clapboard house,

then pull the paint upward to the right,

circumnavigating the feeble, yellow sun,

so as to drag a speck of wet lamp black

off the edge of that nervous cloud.

The black paint (now a greasy streak

on the bristles of the No. 2 sable brush)

once swirled upon the palette creates

the perfect drab for the soldier's jacket.

A dab or two more helps coax the brown

out of his hat and scarf. Use Payne's gray

to tint the road cinders and cyan to chap

the lips as he drags the reclining child

(pretending to be mortally wounded)

across the frozen, unfinished pond.



Scott Brennan's work has appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including Gettysburg Review, Sewanee Review, Notre Dame Review, Chicago Review, Oxford Magazine, The Literary Review, Chariton Review, Carolina Quarterly, Cortland Review, The Journal, South Carolina Review, Cimarron Review, Third Coast, Poetry Quarterly, Tar River Poetry, Poet Lore, and elsewhere.