Our headlamps glare.
The tires rasp sand,
my reveries give rise to ghosts
that chase us as we move
over dry earth thirsting for rain.
In their wake, the soft touch
of his hand, the fragile closeness
that we share, make darker visions
easier to bear.
Then we are at the water's edge.
Mist swirls, and stark coyote voices ripple
the furry surface of the dark,
stipple sharp echoes
forth and back over the lake.
His shotgun rests in the quiet nest
of his sunburned arm, assuring me
there is nothing here to bring me harm.
My father's hands are burred
with callus and his words
fall far and few
between, as if they were
ashamed of being heard.
We sit still in silent connection:
he on his quest, I with my questions.
The pithy fog begins
to swirl, and from the west,
dipping and soaring, whirling
flocks of greenwinged teal
wheel over us in restless flight,
and at the first faint streak of early light,
his blue eyes glare along
the glinting barrel out where
the air is shattered by his will.
I feel their cry
begin to tumble
from the sky.
By Jim Milstead
Jim's poem is a runner up for our second poetry contest. Thank you, Jim for your submission!