Black Magic Gun

Here, in 1970, draft papers in hand, my father’s father begged the trigger of a .22 to blast a small piece of his son’s foot into the hillside so he would not leave the mountains to fight jungle communists. My father. His father. The gun. Gun of worn wood and…

The Boy and the Rafter

This was the summer after the winter the coal stoves of our neighbors upwind dropped flocks of commas on the parable snow. Noon crickets slept. The wind abandoned August and our trailer—that’s when voices lulled me back, pressed my face to a split-glass

The Tall Book

for Tony Earley and after his fashion   I’ve determined the quiet beauty of things is what I hearken to, the grace of a papery butterfly tipping over the purple frill at the tops of ironweed, the field splayed up the hill and misty, the end of summer. Nothing like…

The Way

Hindman, Kentucky, November 18, 2012 Standing beside the tree invites belief, my spirit or soul answers an easy or crazy waving leaf, or even a motionless leaf, even in winter the stark unmoving branch