Anecdotal Evidence of Summer

gopher trail
yellow jacket nest
one laced wing of a termite
skin-flaked chapstick
windburn
empty wallet
visible creek bed
salty sheets
thunder
photo missing when wonder struck

 

Magellan

late in life my father chose isolation with his boyhood,
the metal replicas of cars, soldiers, tractors,
surrounded by lithographs of quails, cardinals, and pheasant
of an old friend, chocolate pots collected
that reminded him of the quiet sweetness of his home,
blankets with bears and biographies of farms,
the river that captured he and his dog on long lonely walks.
Why not die here instead of transfer, lose all that he loved
having lost his long-loved wife? It was not the sadness
of trying to perpetuate her life or his life in some idyllic dream
but the sheer comfort of how to negotiate the world,
the way Magellan kept a map tight in his fist
and slept with it rolled against his chest at night
afraid that he and his men might sail off the edge of the world

 

Jeff Burt lives in California with his wife amid the redwoods and two-lane roads wide enough for one car. He works in mental health. He has work in The Watershed Review, The Nervous Breakdown, Spry, Atticus Review, and The Monarch Review. He was the featured 2015 summer issue poet of Clerestory, and won the 2017 Cold Mountain Review narrative poetry prize.