An on-going draught left bony carp
the year everyone lived

but didn’t know why.  Men on the bridge
used dough balls for bait.

Hungry church-folk
walked on rounded rocks,

doubters pinned frowns to somber faces.

Tom broke his trot line.
In August,
when he tried to fix it from a
leaky boat, an old man called him

a “damn fool.”  Kids ate tadpoles
from a stagnant pond.

Dragon flies lingered
near its sun-burnt shore.

And “Harry the ’Bo” hummed a song
sung by gandy dancers,

and took his meal in a metal can, as usual,
on the eastern bank of Shoal Creek.

 

first published in Rearview Quarterly

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