John Repp

Running Past Lloyd & the Peepers

 

Once upon a time, I ran through the squeal-whistle shrill 

of the peepers past what had always been Lloyd’s trailer 

 

& the field across the road where last July 4 Lloyd chased 

his screaming, near-naked kids with a lawn tractor belching 

 

blue smoke in the roiling midst of which I waved to Lloyd 

& his oblivious kids & his wife waving as she roasted 

 

five hot dogs pierced with pointed sticks (each braced 

on a three-brick stack), the all-but-dead bonfire billowing 

 

smoke that nearly obscured the untrimmed-log addition 

Lloyd had joined to the trailer by means of a wizardry 

 

forever beyond me. In a may-as-well-be-mythical time, 

I’d come home after a complicated time away to run past 

 

a bearded someone feeding Lloyd’s fire pit trash bags 

swollen with what seemed clothes or bedding, an oily, 

 

reeking swirl of turbid smoke-devils enveloping me 

as I waved at the oblivious stranger & never broke stride, 

 

the peeper-squeal filling the woods that within a dozen 

footfalls crowded the roadsides again. Lloyd’s panel van

 

didn’t tilt in the two-track, nor did his tractor squat

under the lean-to. The three stumps he pulled a spring ago 

 

to make more garden still lay by the drainage ditch 

& I never again saw anyone on that plot of ground.

tiffany jolowicz Monday on Michigan Island, Yesterday, the Day Before, Two Thousand Years