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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 2, June 2015

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Ryan Jessup
King, North Carolina, USA


Slick Rock

back in elementary school during recess some of the more rebellious kids would often wander off when the teachers were not looking and head down past the playgrounds and the ball fields and into the woods and then down a secret path to a place called slick rock

and I remember the first time I ventured there having been persuaded by a fellow friend at the time and I felt perhaps for the first time wild and free not caring about what trouble I would get into with my teacher for what was so bad about walking off into the woods to see something of nature this large and beautiful smooth rock that covered fifty or sixty feet of the rolling ground and then went over and down a small hill while a cool stream ran across it

out of nowhere the sound of my name through the wind in the trees

but apparently as the story goes many years ago a kid had died there due to slipping and hitting his head on the surface of the rock and from that point on it became a kind of forbidden area for children and occasionally it would be a hangout for older people as the evidence of empty beer cans liquor bottles and cigarette packs would prove and once I remember there was a used condom that hung quite elegantly from a small thorn bush

however getting to be there in those years with some of my classmates felt like a unique world similar to that of Lord of the Flies and I think now what if we all were stranded there what would survival have been like who would have been the leaders who would have been the followers who would end up being Piggy

but of course nothing like that ever happened it was only a place of retreat and discovery a place of excitement and wonder that helped some of us survive those early routine days of school

age of innocence
the flow of water
through my hands

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