SUMMERNow their blinking bodies so used to space and that language huddle in a swarm, stricken, like cars plucked from roads and alleys, set to field far from the lines and lights they know; a field where, one winter, four boys crunched home through cut stalks, the bigger three quicker, the small one fumbling, holding one arm to the wind—shouting? pointing? I thought I could save their bundling toward the highway, could keep it movement. I kept the lightning bugs three days, watched the light that didn’t spread. The boys each a word I had yet to say. Had ahead. Those headlights become paths circling each other. They flash bright over and over. They must be brothers. Watch how they wait for the youngest, how they tend toward pack then break. Whatever the swarm said, I quieted. They walk. The field is burned, ash. I quiet everything. ———
Joellen Craft lives in Durham, North Carolina, and teaches at Vance-Granville Community College. Her poems and reviews appear in storySouth, Fugue, Grist, The Nashville Review, The Pedestal, Juked, and others.