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

Volume 12, Number 2, June 2018
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Elizabeth Howard
Arlington, Tennessee, USA


Stealing Home

Wally has been driving all morning, stopping at each store and market to fill his orders. Just outside Macon, children play hide-and-seek. I used to love that game. Summer nights. Whippoorwills calling. Playing till our mamas called us in.

he careens
to miss a box—
in the rearview mirror
a small boy
crawls out and steals home

Wally is shaking all over. What if he had hit the box? The child? He stops the engine, crawls out, and dismantles the box. He throws it in the back, gathers himself, and goes on, but he is still unnerved by the image of a young child crawling out of the box.

He usually eats lunch at Pokey Pete’s, but he’s lost his appetite. He buys Vienna sausage and cheese and crackers for later.

It’s still April, but in mid-afternoon, the heat becomes oppressive. He sees a little creek flowing along at a good pace. The overhanging trees are still getting new leaves, dainty curls, puffs, and dangles, so many shades of green.

He sees a flat rock on the bank, sits down, and spreads his lunch. A picnic? It’s been awhile since he picnicked. Food always tastes good in the fresh air. Especially with a gurgling creek and birdsong.

To be a kid again.  . . . Well, why not? He pulls off his shoes and rolls up his pant legs. Ah! The first step is breathtaking, icy water encircling his legs.

the kuk, kuk, kuk
0f a fly-up-the-creek—
here I am
wading again
in Spring Creek

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