Big Bridge #10

Export: Writing the Midwest


mark s. kuhar


what looks like a dead body from a distance is a log up close

from the back window
i scan the tree line
with binoculars,
looking for that group
of noble deer
that wander
just at the front
of the field,
far enough back
to be safe,
out far enough
to nibble on
sparse vegetation.

but my eye is caught
by a horizontal black mass
i hadn’t seen before.
i stare hard, become
convinced that
what i’m seeing
is not part of nature,
but instead
a dead body.

cautiously i
pull on my boots & jacket
mentally rehearse my call
to the sheriff’s department,
begin walking back toward
the woods.

sort of a relief
when i find
that what looks
like a dead body
from a distance
is a log up close.
must have
just broken off
an old tree
high above.
(well, anyway
i was right
about the dead part)


you push the wheelbarrow

you push the wheelbarrow
across the dried leaves
& wet grass, a tire mark
like a rodent trail snaking
across the yard, boots
pressing flat impressions
in the murk of your deep
agitations, take that load
toward the compost pile
in the back, near where
the swingset flails in the
wind & the woodpile sits
half tipped over, what do
you have in there, my dear
& what are the tears for
on a saturday afternoon
when you're certain no one
is looking at the ruins of you?

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