Previous  Back to Issue Next 

C.S. Ward

But, every so often / I am given a green grace / Like rusty books burning


The soundtrack of weeping Dads out deep in the woods
kept the children at bay

kept them away from the eggs and
looking down at their bags as they

shyly asked for vegetables and
cleaning products from the residents of
Tortoise Terrace.


The punks of the place felt
extinguished from the night before

but held onto a bloody dream that
hovered over a snoopy candle in their
unheated club house which also served
as a pump room for the local athletic center.


Razor blades were scanned for with metal detectors
as a missing girlfriend was whisked into her mom's minivan
while the beautiful sun went down.


Only one child choose to challenge the order
he learned he could live off the contents of a pillowcase
and that he could use his dental floss to sew back his costume
that the toothpaste could be used as a way to leaven his bread
if things got rough.


Bustling in the small metal dust
factory at the edge of the forest

I bend the metal
with my bare hands

I have no power over people
As they pass like money

And I am bad at naming
But, every so often

I am given a green grace
Like rusty books burning

Smells coming over the mountains
And then I can just listen

To small wings
I normally wouldn't hear

I say the sparks are not enough
And they are not but to the left

And then to the right of them
Are things worth regarding

Things worth sleeping to

Phil Estes's poems have appeared in Harpur Palate, Hayden's Ferry Review, Lamination Colony, PANK, Willow Springs, and others. His chapbook, Tommy Glorious and The Girls of Wichita, is forthcoming from Mitzvah Chaps. He lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma.