Two Poems , by Michael Kinnaird.
Michael Kinnaird's work has appeared in many issues of Offcourse:
Issue #5, Fall 1999 After the Sandwich
Issue #7, Summer 2000 "Collecting skulls" and "The Secret Life of Carousel Horses":
Issue #11, Fall 2001 Three Poems
Issue #14, Summer 2002 On the Eighteenth Anniversary of your Imminent Destruction,"
Issue # 17, Summer 2003 Interim, Two Poems
Issue #18, Fall 2003 Two Poems
Issue #20, Summer 2004 Two Poems
Issue #26, March 2006 Two Poems & a Short Story.
Story Without Pages.
when he was three Jack knew how to turn sideways between the chairs
at the grownup table, he patted an arm and said, Come here Uncle Mike,
then ran down the hallway with me right behind, sluggish
to his slight tone of urgency.
we entered the bedroom, and there were the cousins,
Kiera, Timothy, Beth Anne, and Jack all jumping
on the acre-sized bed, now laughing and shouting,
Beth Anne said, "Tell us a story!" I looked for a book
she said, "No
Tell us a story without pages!"
"Who would be in it?" "A princess with powers!"
Jack said, "And pirates!", Kiera said, "Sharks!"
they jumped and they laughed all the way to the ceiling.
The Story Without Pages was well under way.
electric july, my brother in sandals,
we're climbing the asphalt of Fletcher's Hill,
one hundred and eight degrees, but we're out there anyway,
i have maps in my mind the way we'll whirl through the trees
JESUS GOD there's a snake, cottonmouth,
between you and the road, i can't believe it
You Jumped, and that snake kept its mouth open all fangs and followed you all the way over
when you jumped it like a hurdle in a track race.
we've walked partway up to where the Gallavans lived,
they were the Mexican family that came through every year, at harvest time,
they picked Grandad's cotton, i remember
Johnny Gallavans was their oldest son, he had slicked-back hair,
one time i was left in the care of the Gallavans, i was five years old,
i said, "you're a dumb bell!" he said, "you're a dumb rope!"
but i was too young to get it.
we're climbing up the singing heated asphalt
and turning off the road to go where the old Gallivan house is, collapsed,
looking up, and seeing all the new leaves, the gorgeous leaves,
the butterfly living orange and black
how blessed were we that day to be children
and just look up and see
beautiful beating wings as leaves on a hundred trees.
they were called paradise trees
we watched them for awhile
then ran on up to Fletcher's Hill.
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