Indian Grass

by Rich Stewart
The Town
Honorable Mention, September 2007
Judged by Deborah Bogen

Night full of frog-song and stars.
Late summer moon slow to rise.
Indian grass whispers
like bamboo in the lonesome wind …
The deep midnight wind has a bite,
but baby, I could walk all night,
Lost darlin’. I could walk all night.

Loose gravel by the road,
some creature’s little pointed jaw,
fallen dogwood petals
glitter in such light
I could read if I wanted to;
there’s nothing that I want to read
nothing that I want to hear
this night.

Just old humaway songs
of lonesome whistle blow
and trucks on a distant highway
and of how
you might have picked me.

Now it’s just
white moonlight, flat on this flexed gravel road
and this weight in the crook of my arm
and an empty bedroom a mile behind
waiting for me to return.

If I did it tonight
the old people over the hollow
might stir in their big sagging bed.
Might say, that there was a shotgun.
Might say, there’s one old coon gone.
Might roll back into dreams.

If I walked back
far enough into the hills
how long might I lie
left alone?
Not long enough, I guess,
for my bones to rise out clean
and bleach white with the possums and deer.