“There is love that walks in fallows,” this Louisville poet writes. Ain’t that the truth.
The park grown over with waist-high
weeds settled in the back pocket of a sawblade
town. A day like and unlike any other day,
short and brittle as a shard of driftwood.
We trample a path through the tall grass
where I find a fallen giant, a maple leaf,
jagged teeth needling my palm, covered
in red clover mites. We can preserve it,
Dad says, between sheets of wax paper.
It’ll keep longer that way.
There is love that walks in fallows, graces
us by the pond walled-in with cattails and manna,
lichen floating a few feet from the bank.
We rut for mantises, walking sticks, and shiny
-backed beetles. Dad says they used to catch June
bugs, tie them to a string, fly them like kites.
A moccasin swims up, raises a spade-shaped head.
Dad finds a rock in his fist, skims it over the plane.
His aim perfect, the stone slung like a shouted word.
The snake swims away. I was not afraid.
I smell Him: He sheds. He lives there.
David S. Higdon is a Kentucky-based writer recently included in Once a City Said: An Anthology of Louisville Poets (Sarabande Books, 2023). He was the 2021 winner of The Kentucky State Poetry Society's Grand Prix Prize and his work has been published in Southword: New International Writing, Still: The Journal, Appalachian Review, Exposition Review, and others. He lives with his family in Louisville.