Journal of Writing and Environment
The terms “migration route” and “flyway” have in the past been used more or less indiscriminately, but ... it seems desirable to designate as migration routes the individual lanes of avian travel from breeding grounds to winter quarters, and as flyways those broader areas into which certain migration routes blend or come together ....
—F.H. Kortright, The Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America
Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment Vol. 3 14.1
6 editor’s note
(Notes From the Field Contest) 8 Winner: Cara Stoddard, Krummholz 16 Runner-up: Evelyn Hampton, Office
(Home Voices Contest) 126 Winner: Andrew Payton, You’re Not Welcome Here 142 Second Place: Tegan Swanson, Everything Rises on an Atoll 156 Third Place: Ian Pisarcik, Veteran’s Day
24 Anna Catone, Swimming Dog, Drifting Boat 26 Claudia Burbank, Tsunami
34 James Norcliffe, caldera 35 Julie Dunlop, Molecules’ Song 36 Amy Patrick Mossman, Snowline 37 Amy A. Whitcomb, Having Woken Blank Again 50 Julia Shipley, Bird Count 51 Jake Young, At the Edge of the Adirondacks, Hesperidia 61 Jeff Tigchelaar, Standing on the Porch with Charlotte, Watching Her First Storm 62 Ann Elizabeth Huston, Lunch in Long Hoa 71 Suzannah Dalzell, Island County Public Works Field Trip to Glendale Creek 72 Sean Prentiss, How I Come to the River 88 David Hornibrook, Apollo on the Block, Pax America, Pulled Pork
Requests for subscriptions and copies should be sent to the following address: 206 Ross Hall/Department of English Iowa State University/Ames, Iowa 50011-1201 Subscriptions: $24 for one year, $40 for two years Back issues: $10 Foreign subscriptions: add $3 postage charge Submit fiction, nonfiction, and poetry online at flyway.submishmash.com/submit flyway.org flyway.wordpress.com
contents 91 Jonathan Barrett, Gravediggers 93 Stefan Milne, Body of Heritage 105 Gilbert Allen, Latecomers’ Triolet 106 Joseph Powell, Horse Breath 107 Judith Kleck, Silence, I Am Thinking of My Grandmother’s House on Steele Street 121 Maria Marsello, Orchard Suite 123 Athena Kildegaard, Turtle, I Had to Wait, I Gave My Grief
nonfiction 38 Mary Quade, Hatch 53 Adam Regn Arvidson, The Hazards of Collecting Nectar 63 Chad Hanson, An Imaginary Fish 110 Nicol Stavlas, Eva Gray and a Year Passing
27 Talia Mailman, Monsters 74 Ben Pfeiffer, Gemstone 94 Susan McCarty, Shearing Day
Flyway welcomes financial support in the form of donations, bequests, and planned gifts. Additionally, please inquire about the Friends of Flyway Fund and patron pages by contacting Sheryl Kamps at email@example.com. Flyway is published with support from the Iowa State University Department of English. Copyright © 2012, Iowa State University Department of English. All Rights Reserved. ISSN 0032-1958. Printed in Canada.
staff [Supervising Editor] Steve Pett Thanks so much for supporting Flyway. None of this work would be possible without you. All the best, Sarah Burke Managing Editor
[Managing Editor] Sarah Burke [Nonfiction Editor] John Linstrom [Fiction Editor] Genevieve DuBois [Poetry Editor] Xavier Cavazos [Blog Editor] Brenna Dixon [Publicity Directors] Lindsay D’Andrea Lydia Melby [Web Developer] Patrick Burke [Technical Support] Sheryl Kamps
[Readers] Logan Adams Sean Evans Geetha Iyer Logan Jones Mateal Lovaas Andrew Payton Ian Pisarcik Tegan Swanson Lindsay Tigue Chris Wiewiora 7
We hope you enjoy the following excerpts from issue 14.1.
To read each of these pieces, and more, in its entirety, please purchase a subscription using the “subscribe” link on our website. Your support is what keeps us going.
Thank you for your reading!
—The Flyway staff
But, as I already said, in the morning, there she was wrapped up next to him, awake, like always. She gave me a wink, and when she tried to move, he held on tighter. After that, he came back to live with us.
fiction • flyway
Now, here we are, face up to the train tracks, telephone wires drooping down the line. My father doesn’t look as if this is what he came here for. “Let’s get over this thing,” he says. The hill’s as tall as I am, times eight. I can’t even see the train tracks on top of it. I think of my nose crushed against a rock, legs dangling mid-air, fingernails breaking on the ice. Maybe the ocean isn’t even on the other side. He starts moving. “Mom said be careful.” He turns. “I remember what she said.” His voice comes from somewhere I never want to know about. He grabs my chin and turns my face up to his. I keep my eyes on the thread around his buttonholes. “Look at me.” The thread is thin and frayed. He tightens his grip. “Look at me. Don’t you think I remember what she said?” I nod, and he lets go. “All right,” he says, “let’s get over this thing.” The sun softens in the sky. Crazed flakes of pink and orange hit the ice. I bite my lip until it tingles and rub my eyes with my mitten. He makes his way up the rocks. I think about what it would be like if he got to the other side without me and start moving. I keep having this dream where I’m wandering around the house, looking for my sneakers. I end up in the attic, and there’s my father, sifting through dust and boxes. I ask him what he’s doing, and he looks at me like he doesn’t know who I am. He digs his head in the box, takes out letters, throws them across the room. I scream. He can’t hear me, or he won’t. I spend the rest of the dream pounding the floorboards, going, dad, dad, dad, dad, trying to get him to raise his head. “Luce!” He’s halfway up the hill. “Come on.” I hurry up and slip, my knees sliding down a rock. He grabs my hand and pulls.
flyway • fiction
“I didn’t mean to get like that back there.” “It’s ok.” “What’s wrong?” His face changes and lets up. His hand is warm. “What’s wrong?” “Nothing.” “Do you want to go back to the house?” “No, I’m fine, it’s okay.” “I’m trying,” he says. He kneels in front of me and shifts his hands to my arms. “I guess I don’t know where to start.” The night he left, they got in a fight. Over spilled milk. I don’t remember how it started, but I remember the gallon of milk. My mother was in her bathrobe. The house was cold, and I was afraid to go to sleep. When I heard her yell, I got up and looked in the living room. She was running out of the kitchen, my father following her with a bottle of bleach, opened and sloshing. He grabbed her by the shoulder and poured the stuff down the front of her robe. She hit him across the face, calling him names I don’t remember. After that, she walked to the other end of the house and locked herself in the bathroom. Sometimes, the marsh monster comes after I go to bed and tells me he has a present for me. The moon casts his shadow alongside spindly trees. Once we get far enough out, he starts with my shoulder, licking it while I watch. He tells me he likes sucking the meat from my fingers and toes, but he throws my ears in the muck because of the wax. He laughs, and when he tears my tongue from my throat, blood pours through my teeth. Before he left, I’d wake up my father. He’d walk me back to my bedroom and lift me onto the bed, pulling the sheet out from under me and tucking me in. Like a cocoon, he’d say. Now, I hear the water pipes clanging in the wall and there’s a rush of light on the closet doors from cars on the highway, and I think, This is it. He’s come to get me. Later, when I came out of my room, my father was gone. My mother was mopping the floor. When I asked if she wanted help, she told me to go back to bed, I had school in the morning. My bed was cold, so I stood at the window, electricity humming in the walls and patterns of moonlight blinking through the trees onto the driveway.
Hatch I’ve been waiting for something that may or may not happen. It’s a small something, about the size of an egg. This isn’t exactly a comparison, because what I’ve been waiting for is inside an egg. I’m not a patient person, and spring in northeastern Ohio brings out a special kind of impatience in me, a paradoxical expectation of surprise at the sudden growth around me. It’s been just about four weeks. The mallard ducks are patient. They sit and sit, turning the eggs quietly with their bills, pulling out their own feathers to make nests soft. They sit in a kind of liminal state, between life and not life, for weeks. Is this patience or programming? I’m not sure.
flyway • nonfiction
The week the hens began sitting in earnest, on April 20, the accident occurred in the Gulf Coast. A British Petroleum floating oil derrick called Deepwater Horizon drilling into the ocean floor a mile or so below the surface hit a bubble of gas. The rig exploded and, two days later, sank. Now, on the ocean floor, a device called the blowout preventer has burst and leaks oil, uncontrolled, into the sea. There’s a hole on the bottom of the sea spewing crude and gas. The story has one clear message: this is bad. The barn in back of our house isn’t a huge barn, like you’d find on a dairy farm, but instead the kind of barn where they kept the horse and buggy back in 1906, when the house was built. It has a small storage room and an upstairs loft, presumably for keeping hay. On the ground level, a central set of wide doors face the house. When we bought the house eight years ago, the barn leaned perceptively, the top half torqued counterclockwise away from the foundation. Years ago, someone had cut through supportive studs to put a standard garage door on its eastern face at the southern end. The barn then began its slow spin away from true. The people from whom we bought the house offered to knock it down. Instead, my dad and mom came out to visit the July shortly after we moved in, and my dad brought his tools. He attached with cable the torquing front southeast corner of the barn to the base of a steel pole that held a basketball
hoop near the back south side of the barn. In this kind of configuration, the pole acting as a ground anchor is called the dead man. It’s the thing that won’t move. The cable was strung through a winch. Before doing anything else, my dad and my husband, Cris, spent a lot of time staring at the barn, their minds playing out scenarios. For two weeks after the rig goes down, we’re paralyzed by the path of the oil across the water. This is bad. Danger. This is bad. There are booms and burnoffs, but everyone knows these mean nothing if the oil keeps coming. Finally, on May 4, British Petroleum proposes a way to stop the oil. The strategy stinks of the strange plans of desperation. It reminds me of sketches on cocktail napkins: drop a fourstory concrete structure over the leak. I imagine the word ACME painted on its side, an exaggerated sound effect as it plops into the ocean. Its name sounds like a sci-fi prison: containment dome.
nonfiction • flyway
[Ann Elizabeth Huston ]
Lunch in Long Hoa Rain sheets the air one wall open oilskin and scent of wet water buffalo We sit around full bowls and wait, examining the puddled ground through cracked floorboards, our table We each are responsible for serving the dish in front of us—whole snakehead fish for me— to be served flatside to backbone to bottom not flipping the fish for its other-side of flesh, but removing the skeletal frame, proceeding on, preventing a capsized fishing boat, guardian eyes painted on prow, red and black daring the rivers. Bowls refilled
flyway • poetry
three times, we nibble fresh fruit and watch the water buffalo washed black by rain, the river and fields around us rising.
flyway • fiction
Gemstone The ambulance creaked into the village around dusk. Icy rain had begun to fall; the lakeshore was cold and empty. Gemstone sat in the passenger’s seat, heels pressed to the floorboard where heat from the engine leaked into the cab. Mac drove, as he usually did, leaning forward and squinting to discern the lines of the road beyond the headlamps. The Model T had no odometer, so Gemstone couldn’t tell how far they’d travelled, exactly—but she knew roughly how far the ambulance’s twelve-gallon tank could take them, and by her calculations they needed to stop for gas, or face being stranded in the New York countryside. “I’m hungry,” she said. Mac worked the pedals, rolled to the stoplight, a tiny red moon obscured by rain. The ambulance’s planetarygears system realigned. “What about that place?” he said. He pointed across the street to an enormous inn, blue and gray in the twilight, with slate shutters and a brick chimney. Firelight painted the windowpanes orange, casting latticework shadows on the sidewalk. Briarwood Inn, a sign out front announced, Established 1807. “Looks expensive,” Gemstone said. “It’s two hundred years old?” Mac fished a joint and a book of matches from his pocket. He put flame to dampened paper, puffed a few times to get it lit, and the cabin filled with smoke. When he took a drag, the embers reflected in the lenses of his tortoiseshell bifocals, turned them into miniature tavern windows. He wore a parka, steel-toed boots, and a newsboy cap with a button on top. “We can’t drive in this storm,” he said. “Just order the cheapest thing.” Gemstone unlocked the glove compartment. She took out the last of their money—seventy-seven dollars, grimy from changing hands, held together by a rubberband. “Jesus, Gem,” Mac said. “At least leave me twenty for gas.” “OK. I’ll save you some food.” Gemstone found her baseball cap, opened the door, and stepped outside. She allowed the rain to wash away the cramped smell of the ambulance. Then she buried her hands in her jacket and crossed the street with her head down; the
freezing rain scalded her neck, trickled under her collar and her shirt. By the time she reached the front steps, she was shaking.
fiction • flyway
The maître d’hôtel looked down at the floor when Gemstone came in. Then she looked up, feigned surprise. A young girl, not much older than me, Gem thought, but cleaner and—from the look of her—warmer. Her hair was cut very short; she wore a cardigan and knee-high boots. Gemstone waited, working her fingers through the knots in her hair. After shuffling her paperwork, the girl said, “Aren’t you cold?” “Pretty much,” Gemstone said. “Can I eat in the tavern?” The girl brought her a menu, placed her next to the fireplace. Gemstone ordered a four-dollar salad, romaine hearts tossed in peppercorn dressing with applewood bacon, beefsteak tomatoes, and shaved asiago cheese. She ate hunched, shoveling it in. After a while the girl brought her more bread, then refilled her water from a sparkling pitcher. “You from North Carolina?” “What?” “Your hat,” the girl said. “The Panthers are in Charlotte, right?” “Oh, right.” Gemstone turned her cap around to inspect the logo. “Sure.” “Was that your car out front—kind of looks like from the 1920s?” “My boyfriend bought it from a mechanic in eastern Kansas,” Gemstone said. “It’s a Ford Model T. His boss at the time—they added the cab to the ambulance, you know, rebuilt the engine.” “Do you need a room for the night?” the girl asked. “We have some vacancies.” “I’m sure you didn’t notice,” Gemstone said, “but I can’t afford that.” She tore a chunk of bread from the loaf with her fingers. The girl brought her the check. On the receipt she had signed her name, Aaryn, in looping script, and next to the total she had drawn a smiling face. Gemstone didn’t leave a tip.
flyway • fiction
Gem had folded the remaining money into her wallet—and had picked up her coat to leave and find Mac—when she noticed an older man sitting alone. He had the travel-worn coat from her childhood on the chair beside him, next to a silver-headed cane; he wore the half-moon bifocals, and a hardback textbook lay open in front of him. For a moment, she forgot who she was, watching him turn the pages. He was not the man she remembered, not exactly—that man was dead, killed seven years ago in a car crash in Colorado. “Who’s that?” she asked Aaryn. “The professor?” The girl looked up again from her paperwork, suddenly suspicious; she tapped her pen against her teeth. “He teaches, like, mythology at the university.” Gemstone chewed her lip. She paced, and checked the front windows, but there was no sign of Mac. She listened to the tapping silverware and clinking glasses and murmured conversations from the diningroom. And, finally, without realizing why she did it, she went back into the tavern and sat down at the professor’s table. “Hello,” he said. He spoke with an accent. “Who might you be?” If a stranger joining him caused him distress, he didn’t give any sign, but instead clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth, as if he were amused. Gemstone told him her Christian name, and added that she had heard he taught at the university. “I want to take your class.” “Oh?” he said. “Very good, Solnyshko! Which class would you take?” “Your winter intercession course,” she said, guessing. “Far Eastern Folklore,” he said. “An excellent choice.” “What did you call me?” she asked. “What language is that?” “I joke about your name,” he said. “In Russian, Solnyshko means Little Sun.” “You’re Russian?” “Nikolai Stepanovich,” he said. “At your service. But you may call me Professor Shestov—at least for the time you are in my class.” He tapped the cream-colored pages of the textbook. Then he pushed it over the table toward her. The margins
[David Hornibrook ]
Apollo on the Block The god on his bike rode to warn you: a swerve of wind would bring the house down. So what if the people scatter, if the wind-up rooster pops a spring, the neighborhood was bound to change and the child was bound to lose what he would. Tonight is the night we gather at the brick stove and watch the leaves burn, tonight is the night
flyway â€˘ poetry
the god on his bike pops the last wheelie.
opened the garage door and rolled down the passenger-side window. “Get in, Randy, we’re running late.” “I want to drive,” he said but he knew how his mom was. “Randy, get in. We’re late and it’s too…I just don’t think it’s a good idea for you to be driving yet. We’ve already talked about this.” Randy stood silently near the car. His old Flexible Flyer hung on the garage wall, spiderwebbed and rusted, put up for good after the doctor had predicted imminent catastrophic heart failure. He remembered the last weekend he had taken it out to a golf course a mile away from the house. The snow was three feet deep and higher where it had drifted. They’d all been stuck inside for three days during the storm and this felt like a hard-won freedom. The sun cut through the sky like glass as he waded through the snow. His heartbeat filled his whole body, warmed him inside out, fell into his groin on that first wild hill. The copper taste in the back of his throat, his lungs pinching through his side, the brilliance of the sky as his sled banked itself and he flew forward into the soft lap of the new snow. The warm wooly smell of spit and sweat and ice on his face mask. He thought of that last day of sledding as the last day of his life. His mother backed the car out of the garage. In the old days, she would have honked, started the garage door down so he’d have to run and duck to get under it, but now, even after the transplant, she was so afraid. “Get your butt in here now,” she yelled. He kicked at a case of Diet Coke on the floor, hoping she’d get sprayed next time she opened one, and walked through the garage to the driveway.
fiction • flyway
Will and his father had just finished herding the last of the reluctant alpaca from the field into the holding pen when he got a text from his mom. Randy and Pam were at the house. Come down and say hello. “Oh…shit,” said Will. His father, who was tethering the gate to the holding pen closed, gave him a sharp look. “What’s wrong, man?” “Nothing. I’m okay. I just have to get back down to the house.”
flyway • fiction
His father relaxed, “Take it easy today, okay? I know you want to help Craig and his team, and that’s great, but they’re professionals. Try not to get in their way. And don’t…don’t overexert yourself. I’ve gotta go into town for a while. You help your mom run food and drinks up, okay?” “Dad,” Will shot his father a nasty look and shook his head, then set out for the house at a sprint. He could feel his dad’s eyes on him all the way down the hill and he sped up, exaggerating the motion of his arms and legs, whipping across the pasture grass and leaping the divots and rabbit holes. He burst into the front hallway where his mom stood with Pam and Randy. “Will, you’ve gotten even bigger…again, I swear.” Pam gave him a long, sad and wincing look, then enveloped him in a hug that smelled like perfume and boiled potatoes. The smell hung around even after she’d moved into the kitchen with his mom. “What’s up, Will?” Randy smiled but Will could see he was exhausted. His eyes were big in his head and rimmed in shadows. His skinny frame sunk into itself at the shoulders. Will looked away. He recognized that body. It had been his not long ago. He swallowed to settle the disgust that blossomed in his stomach. “Hey man, how’s it going?” “I’m cool. What about you? You’re taller.” “Yeah. I’m good. Just helping with the shearing. Didn’t know you guys would be here today.” “Yeah, your mom called my mom. Your mom says she gets bored cooking down here by herself all day. So we came over.” Will was only half listening to Randy. He was trying to catch the low conversation coming from the kitchen. Doctor’s weren’t happy. Minimal progress. Possible rejection. Will put a hand on Randy’s shoulder. “You want to go see the shearing? They’re going to start any minute.” “No, Randy,” yelled Pam from the kitchen. And in a sniff, she was at Randy’s side, taking his coat off of him like he was five. “How about you guys play some video games downstairs?” “But they’re about to start up the hill.” “Will!” Pam barked. Other adults were rarely sharp with him and it made him feel hot and hateful to hear her.
Without a word he turned and walked down the basement stairs and Randy followed without comment or apology.
Video games had brought them together in the first place. Their mothers had both walked into the PICU carrying new XBox 360 systems on the same day. Both had sons almost the same age waiting for heart transplants. Both congenital defects from birth. Will and Randy had been separated on the ward, each imprisoned in his private pediatric intensive care room, immobilized by the monitors and machines that kept their tired hearts beating. But they could talk to each other on their own Xbox live network. And as they drove over cops and pushed back Covenant alien attacks and did the only boyish thing left to them in the world, they talked. Sometimes about how much they hated the wallpaper—giant stick children drawn by artsy adults, made to look infantile, in bright, basic colors, with a whiff of the crayon about them. Sometimes they talked about dying and said brave, untrue things like, “I’ve lived a good, full life” and “It’s all in Christ’s hands now.” Will wanted to be a minister. Randy wanted to design video games. Both could appreciate where the other was coming from.
fiction • flyway
That had been a long time ago. Six inches of growth ago. It had been in the weak time, but the weak time was over. When Randy asked if he had any new games, Will, without even thinking about it, almost didn’t answer him. As if Randy had never spoken. As if he weren’t there. Will thought of Jesus in Capernaum and Gennesaret and all the people he healed. And for the first time he thought how hard that must have been. And how, if he were Jesus, he’d have totally hated sick people by the end. “I don’t really play video games anymore. I’ve been really into working out and stuff.” “Oh. Yeah, that’s cool. Do you, like, have a girlfriend or something?” “Yeah. I have a couple.” “Do you play video games with them? Because there’s this one girl in my—” “You don’t play video games with girls, dummy,” Will squinted at Randy. “You drive them out to some field and get them to take off their shirts.”
[ Joseph Powell]
Horse Breath The smell is of ground grass and bread, like lying face-down on a hot summer lawn; I feel the depth and length of their exhalations, the fume of their being. One velvety nostril after another lets its soft warmth steam across my face like a towel fresh from the dryer. I breathe them and they breathe me as we stand mid-field, head to head. Their breath swirls in my ears like a secret just released from the earth, from sunlight and mulch, water and air. I stand, the omnivore, beside herbivores, coated with wind, flight-detectives, sensing the tension, that massive, delicate poise between nuzzling even softer or exploding into a wild freewheeling swirl of kicking bucks and blows ignited by that spark of fear or joy that can arc their tails, flare their nostrils.
flyway • poetry
But now we stand in the pasture, a word and its antonym, fight & flight, meaning & meat— suspended between its two poles— the language of power in the mother tongue of touch.
Silence [ Judith Kleck]
“Silence is more eloquent than words. Speech is of time, silence is of eternity.” Thomas Carlyle
poetry • flyway
Before the eloquence of silence comes the tongue’s bumbling slur. I learn quickly to avoid the ells. Por favor (in English) becomes peas. (And in this disease, the transition to vegetable matter is slow but certain, as sure as the seed becomes vine and bears fruit that splits into seed. And so on.) Shortly after the ells, the tees depart, bees no longer buzz, cees cease. The inconstant consonants recede. But the inviolate vowels bloom and I ahh, ew and ohh my way through the day as if newly blessed by what I see, surprised at what I say. Never mind that the voice I hear before I speak is the same voice I’ve known for years. Never mind that the woman at the coffee shop asks for my order twice. Never mind that the man at the table nearby glances up wondering if I am drunk or merely stupid, then looks away ashamed. His shame is of the moment and for a moment we share it, silently. But silence is of eternity and this world is meant for speech. So, bumble tongue and lips lisp your way through ineloquent nonsense; desire, babble your syllables— until you are the spectacle of sound, until the vowels close around you like a shroud, muffled and worn but warm, warm as the first word your mother’s face above you spelled.
flyway • nonfiction
Eva Gray and a Year Passing - The middle of May I was born six weeks late, my mother says. I entered the world tucked in a blanket of winter which was also six weeks later than it should have been. Each year on my birthday my mother talks about that snowstorm, and the odd lateness of the cold and me. As years have slipped away my mother has continued to send letters every May, trying to manage the memories of my birth and childhood, and the time, still passing. I refuse any other celebration, and chose instead to tally and stack a year of my failures and successes up. I list them out and then put them away with my mother’s letter. This measure of a year is distant from the way I otherwise understand the passing of time, which is now wed to a man, a small house, a large garden and a fruit orchard. Here, we have come to count the years, our sense of togetherness, and our sense of time through the changing of seasons. The garden has determined the way days were to be spent together, counted as they passed. And so they have run, by cool nights and warm nights and how many of both rest up in a row, or by the time between rainfalls, by when to prune and when to plant early greens and when to harvest garlic. But this spring is not spring like it has been before. This year, the world has woken, wild. Our clean rows have seeped out across our paths and climbed up around the trunks of the trees in our orchard, making a grove of nothing we planted. The world is covered in thick, and like a lake, which murmurs only frequently enough to remind us of how alive it is below the surface, the tall greens part at their tips, revealing the paths of animals that make their way through the undergrowth. We watch and we don’t say much. Today is my birthday, but I am counting down and not up. I am making lists of things we need, things we’ll do, things I should eat. I am full out in front and pregnant, too, with the sort of anticipation that changes the way I negotiate with the passing of time. If my measure is right, I must only wait until the beginning of August.
I make my way out of the house only to visit Euleta, whose house is a five minute walk from mine. When we moved to the neighborhood years ago she would talk me into weeding her front garden beds and send me home with flower starts. This, I later learned, was everyone’s relationship with Euleta—and because of it, the patches of garden that rise around the local houses all reflect hers. She has lived here longer than the rest of us and keeps the stories of the land that we are too young to know.
nonfiction • flyway
Turtle I smelled it first, a rot flies delight in, a wavering and deep-muddy smell, for the turtle was pretty well gone, his eyes keyholes, his spiny tail freed from ruddering. The turtle was big on the rocks above the river. It must have flailed, nothing to hold on to, balanced as it was on granite, soundless and paddlingâ€” with its talony feetâ€”the air. The flies came in and out. I left them all on that flinty shore.
poetry â€˘ flyway