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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 3, September 2017
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Glenn G. Coats
Carolina Shores, North Carolina, U.S.A.


Jackie Boy

He is drawn to gravel and dust, the rumble and rattle of passing trains, photos in discarded magazines, and hawks on wires. The boy perches on rocks that jut into the current, studies insects dropping from branches, and the flash and dart of silver sides.

The child grubs under moss and rotted wood for thin red worms, salamanders with yellow spots, and pounces on grasshoppers that land in brush. He threads creatures on small hooks, flicks them with his rod into the dark and light water.

When the sticks have burnt to coals, he heats water in rusted cans, poaches chub and small trout, sucks meat from bone that tastes of blood from a wound.

Strips in the heat of day, slips and slides down a clay bank into a deep pool where cattle come to cool and drink until dusk rings like a bell and the boy dresses and runs home. “Even after a bath,” his mother will say, “my son still smells of river.”

sun-bleached bone
the way darkness settles
into stone

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