For Three Word Wednesday. Prompt words entice, savor, chance.


They asked me
Where’d you see
him last, voices
in that grave tone
of adult concern.
So I took them, 
neighbors and neighbors
friends following me
a few hundred yards
down the creek bank
to a place we’d often
go, Wes and I,
to swim or fish or
sneak a smoke.
Once we’d even
talked our parents
into letting us camp
overnight; with enough
supplies for a two-week
stay we took our fill
of liberty, staying up
till dawn and savoring
a breakfast of bluegill
and granola bars.
We walked,
as the first stars
began to wink, past
the old campsite,
past the trees that
opened up as if by
chance. I pointed
to an enticing spot
where waist-high water
into our deep
swimming hole:
I said, this much
the truth. I had
seen him there
three hours ago,
after we’d catfished
and puffed half
a pack of Marlboros,
and jumped
from the old green oak
into the rain-swelled current—
There.  But I
didn’t tell them
how we’d hurled
hurtful words,
and worse,
and how he’d stood
in the reddening water
and cried.

22 thoughts on “There

  1. This had me fooled Nico. I read slowly, scrolling down line-by-line, thinking how the apparent story-line reminded me vaguely of 'The Big Brown Trout' by Robert Travers (A short story from 1967); and then I came to your last verse, and was chilled. I really thought the adults were interested in the whereabouts of a famous, old, elusive fish. This is a fine poem, and I apologise for assuming a light-weight intention that was not there.


  2. Oh yikes…. very nicely woven. I thought he'd fallen into deep water and gotten swept away but… he did him in!
    Wicked short story, had me really gripped and what an ending!
    Really enjoyed it Nico and, thanks for your lovely comment.


  3. Bren, thank you. This poem is a combination of a current local news story, a personal memory of a shameful action from my childhood (no, I didn't kill anyone!), and my imagination. I'm glad you liked it.


  4. How much truth can a child own up to? The chilling part was the reddening water and his failure to help which will torment him for the rest of his life. Having had such adventures that often bordered on the dangerous I really felt this one. Great writing.


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