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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 3, September 2014

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Calvin Z. Heyward
New Rochelle, New York, USA


Last season as a boy

My summer has ended and I start to pack for school. Carolina's sun has turned my skin from pecan to blueberry jam, and everything I now say ends with "sir" or "M'am." Pine cones and Spanish moss will be replaced by monkey bars and asphalt. I'll miss my grandfather's "coffee" voice singing gospel first thing in the morning, young and old roosters his chorus.

Two nights before I'm to leave my grandfather calls me to the kitchen. Moonlight guides me through the cloaked house and I can see him loading his pistol. His shotgun and shells lie on the breakfast table. He tells me there's going to be a parade and for now we need only watch. The parade is on the other side of the fence, the side I'm not allowed on even to chase down a fly ball. I see them march by. All the while my grandfather reads scripture to me, his shotgun in his lap. His voice, not the words soothe me. When we hear nothing but crickets again, he tells me come daylight he's gonna teach me to shoot the way he did all his boys.

hushed bullfrogs
I hear
my own thoughts

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