Branched bogs, a curiously quiet
afternoon, rapt, mad with heat.
We keep throwing rocks, despite
the moans, the pleas,
after cursing turns to begging,
lightning bugs dot the darkness
Last time the stream ran too
high and alliances were laid bare,
our sinew fraying
in time, tethers becoming water, accepting
consequence, asking questions into the
And so, it felt right to heave, to
rebel against the soil itself, to
forget what we had learned.
Being the stagnant water or the
thousands of humming mosquitos flying
weakly to wherever the wind pushed,
we found ourselves no longer able to
return home, we
having forgotten the language of parades
there being something about the grey clay
of eroding riverbanks
that cannot be translated.
Until now this much was obvious, that
the rules never changed,
that we had never left the woods,
Carry with you a thousand miles of rusted fence.
Slurry upland and rest
by the prickly
grazing on the leeward
of changing hills’
It’s shadow, memory,
as shadows are
hiding the face
, avoiding stepdads,
fork on plate,
amplified in quiet rooms.
In lucid daydreams
the dirty water
fills the potholes
every winter, we
embrace like a
Goodnight kiss, saying,
Does it mean anything if
cows are happy
when the veiny storm clouds
settle above in bulbous purple
when this town’s muddy ditches
are just one year
We make do with brackish tributaries,
rusty crab cages sloshing through
the thick grey chop, or…
The alluvial plane is silent, a
semi-aquatic meadow on the cusp
of billowing smoke and the apparatus of
industrial revolution decay.
An ornament hung on humid reveries we manifest
among sagging willows.
When mud is your milieu, the
nostalgia is warmer, it has
other connotations, as if we
had the luxury to
Upstream, furnaces burn,
whole economies built on
sweat and Sunday mass.
We hear differently and speak
When the shadows that separate
work from worship embrace
Fearless parking lots the
headlights again, reflected in
Big Gulps and soiled paper.
Endless smoke, a single blinking light.
The future comes in
loosely tied shoes. There are
probably some other intentions
out on the edge
of the park, always helicopters
swirling in code. Trees here
are accustomed to bowing.
Bio: Gregory McGreevy lives and writes poetry in Baltimore, Maryland. His work has previously been featured in West Trade Review, The Finger Literary Journal, and The Northern Virginia Review, among others.