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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 4, December 2015


J. Todd Hawkins
Crowley, Texas, USA

New Bethel Road

The preacher went on, telling us how he had damn near beat a horse to death on that road. He was just a boy when it had happened, he said. Driving the plow nag to town with his baby brother in the wagon bed, dying, choking on the pit of a wild plum. He had lashed without mercy, lashed as if there were money for a doctor.

His eyes were flecked and milky behind cataracts, like quail eggs wrapped in onion skin paper. From them, I could tell, if such a man could hate, he hated that road. Completely and forever.

I turn
expecting your hand
and touch nothing

Editor's Note: previously published in Vine Leaves Literary Journal (issue 15, summer 2015).



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