James H Duncan

The night no one went home

potshots from the gristmill
and away we go a’running
through weedstalks tough as tire irons
thumping polecats skitter wild
in August, we dream of October
in October we dream of honor,
and we know a ghost is waiting
someone set fire to the gristmill
the summer after the shooting
the coupe still sits burnt out
amidst the wishing field of grain
the wind runs through that grain nightly
the moon watches with envy
children think they are alive
especially when they play dead
potshots strike the hollow oak
where we once thought of honey bees
and robins nest in nighttime fevers
the moon a great dying tilt-a-whirl
and this I promised to promise,
with a match left in my pocket—
I’ll wait for you come autumn,
when we’ll burn it all down again 

James H Duncan is the author of Dealing With the Devil in the Middle of the Road (poems) and The Cards We Keep (short fiction). More of his work is available at jameshduncan.blogspot.com.

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