Oct/Nov 2002 Poetry


by Christian Peet

Artwork by Tara Gilbert-Brever



The childhood mobile home
on blocks, aluminum box sprigged
with hemlock and spruce deadfall,
a jiffy-rigged antenna grinding round

its axis, the man hunched inside
strobed in hushed reds and lingering blues,
praising the Lord as the snow clears
and credits scroll to an end. Cut to:

High noon in a clearcut stumpfield.
Red toenails now a dusty rose,
bare feet sweeping dry pine needles
in circles by the side of the road.

Wrangler shorts frayed at the cheekline.
Colt .45 mute in its holster.
Mauled by brambles in her halter
Tracker Jill has lost the scent.

Flashbacks of bathing, turquoise falls
buffing pink granite in the gorge
last week where farmboys gawked and swam.
Now miles if only an episode behind.

Nothing distracts her. Not our girl
the husband comments to the wife,
explaining, as he does each week
Our Tracker Jill will find her man.

The wife groans, shuffling off to bed
That's not our Jill and she can't find
a pile of dung without her hound.

So goes their last night home alone.

The two poor folks oblivious
to the thing waiting in their yard:
Pale nose downturned and dripping mucous,
all bones, it feeds through the cold night

in silence, trailer door to door
as Tracker Jill gets off her rounds
and TVs down the road blink out.


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