The Enlistee

From the May 2012 Print Edition

This wrestler isn’t ready yet for college, instead he’s shaved his head for the Marines. It isn’t that he has no taste for knowledge but hungers to divine what freedom means. A grandfather was crippled in Korea, shelled in an LSI, the Inchon landing. He’s had enough of poets’ . . . . Continue Reading »

A Gift

From the January 2012 Print Edition

The boy comes to the back door of the parish,       bearing he says, “A gift.” A crib, its mattress, and a baby bearish quilt. “I hear you people stand for life.” What came between them, what could cleave a rift . . . . Continue Reading »

Mato Paha

From the May 2011 Print Edition

Like an emergent moth I’m flitting up a slope. Here strips of colored cloth affixed to every tree are prayers, the windblown hope of those who climb to see. This is a laccolith upthrust through sediment, perduring like a myth through man’s prehistory, Pa Sapa ’s pediment. Come climb . . . . Continue Reading »

Address to the Manger

From the December 2010 Print Edition

Sleep, infant, sleep among the oxen and the sheep which kneel before your manger. Welcome to danger. When you become a man preach us the Good News while you can before you bear the scourge and cross, an everlasting loss we all bear to the grave with guilt. It was your doom to save us sinners, us . . . . Continue Reading »

Two Poets

From the October 2010 Print Edition

Mikey’s idea of going on the wagon was sorrowfully to pour that final flagon of single malt whiskey down the drain, then switch to marijuana and cocaine. He simply couldn’t comprehend the danger of drying out. Although he was no stranger to white knuckling through vomit and the shakes, he . . . . Continue Reading »

Farm Boy, Call Kayla

From the December 2009 Print Edition

Brady, you went to school with pretty Kayla. You’re six feet one, soft spoken and you’re handsome, and you still haven’t begged her out for dinner? Rich girl? Easy to marry as a poor girl ” words wasted on this poet by his father. I chickened out on marrying a woman skittish . . . . Continue Reading »

Georgic

From the June/July 2009 Print Edition

for Bryan Stotts, District Ranger This is the shoreline of a glacial lakebed. Some of its flora, fauna are endangered. Not so the leafy spurge, vile interloper, the milkweed puffing cotton to the breezes. Not so the cottonwoods or dwarfish scrub oaks, the white-tail deer that multiply like . . . . Continue Reading »

Wind River Justice

From the November 2008 Print Edition

Alan riding his first horse from Big Sandy to celebrate his thirty-seventh birthday: his mare reared in the lodgepoles when a spruce grouse flushed and nearly pitched him down a switchback. My own gelding stampeded through a meadow, and our young wrangler called those ponies “gentled.” We . . . . Continue Reading »