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Contemporary Haibun Online: January 2015, vol 10 no 4

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Ferris Gilli

The Hollow Echo

The torpor of dog days, sidewalks hot enough to blister bare feet. Sunday morning and we're skipping church. A perfect day to avoid the narcotizing effects of stifling air, the useless ceiling fan's squeak, and a long-winded sermon. Our secret spot of paradise along the Altamaha is waiting. We know private shortcuts. Park the cars a mile beyond the water tower, cut through the cornfield to the trees.

Pentecostal country –
a dead snake hung on the fence
to make it rain

Lugging the coolers, we enter the woods at the lightning-struck pine. Soon we can smell it, and hear it. The quality of sound changes as we get closer to our secluded haven. Footsteps, birdcalls, insects. Human voices . . . not ours. We peek around a clump of gallberry bushes at the pale sand, the slow, molasses-colored water.

white for a river baptism . . .
the hollow echo
of a preacher's amen