It was an awful hurtful time, dad looking

over porous crayon volumes and nodding,

allowing without allowing, back patting

without the reading


while I sat in rock shirt with the

strings of rock pant left untied, while I

had become industrial and prepubescent playing

Saint Nick


dressup.  Ratio of sad hocum

realer than even fantasy camp

or modicum of man man

paternal nurture, not


when stashing page on page of

construction papers and electrical tape in

a collegiate tote bag to be protected

and driven to the love who'd been






We are sanded down

as the snort of the

Great Lakes sturgeon

gaggling eyes, marbles

in hours of fights


The panhandlers came with

shallow tins and sifted

us away, grain by grain


The seasons changed.

The sun and moon

went touring.  They drained

the bulk of our lake


And we let ourselves be

hooked by dangly lures

that seemed sweet


Yet we are our own

species, drawing pride

from our fightfightfight


Other days cursing the

slits in our sides, how could

we stay bright


And we swim with

our flat grandmotherly

noses feeling the sense and

nonsense of our cloudy

white and mulberry water




In the midst of the bees and humidity.

Sky’s slathered tongue.

The carnation, clasped, with a smile

of buds.

Jumping forward for attention, pick me,

pick me, and being pink.

Giving perfectly to the pushes of the

country exhaling.

Soft and oil in the color but iron in

the stem, so sure from the rise of

the ball until the time that it


A map, a holy shroud, a garden,

the one life in it.

The one breath in it.


© Broc Riblet


Bio:  Broc Riblet has been published in Page and Spine Fiction Showcase, Voluted Tales Magazine, Oddball Magazine, Cacti Cur, and Picaroon Poetry.  He lives in Milford and writes in his spare time.  Visit him at