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Image by Craig Whitehead


The shovel, striking a root, thunked 
all the way down to my moist heart. 

An acolyte, I knelt to bury the plant to 
its neck. 
Blame me for trusting coincidence 
more than fate. 
     Hold me responsible for rose thorns.
     The sloping yard

the memory of past glaciers. Have I searched within 
for the gravitational 
field that holds me here?

Weeds take over the neglected bed next to the house.
Sharing the sun with stray 
snapdragons and tomatoes.

That will forget their names by August.
If there’s a faint, high-pitched whistle

like a bird stuck in the night,
It could be the call of my own breath.

 John Kucera was educated at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in New Reader Magazine, The Sandy River Review, Philadelphia Stories and Friends Journal. He currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona.


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