highland mocassins, 1864

children’s feet run by the river

the copperhead unbeknownst to them

driven towards the inward meadow

yet uncharted by their forefathers

an unknown quiet hallowed land

 

until at last little Lisa skips after Pip

a shaggy terrier, as lost as she

from Ohio, born-and-bred, tethered

by a moldy leash and the pangs of gravity

nearby the tumbledown summerhouse

 

forever earthbound, moccasins click

with each and every quickening footstep

safety in silence, they were not told

in God we trust copper their pennies

that clink and tussle in their torn trousers

 

the few cicadas left croon crass chirrups

and the silly pup, amuck and stuck, eyes

transfixed greedily on the golden tail of the red oak

while poplar leaves bloom and at last rise

their tips lifted, just before they wither

and strike sweet venom in velvet flesh

 

whelps! wails! teeth sunk deep in his collar

brass clinks its teeth, as the children now bleat

a flock gone astray in the devil’s keep

eyes of sapphire green, bespeckled with blood

finally peers at its throng of helpless prey

 

stricken with the shifting shake of nerves

they muster the strength to lift their legs

and run quickly away from wanderlust

away from injury, what lucky ducks

they are to be free at last, free at last

 

Featured Image by Ryan McGinely

All Images found via Google Image Search

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bluestockings magazine
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