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January 2013, vol 8, no 4

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Glenn G. Coats

Staging Area on Mud Lake

After two months, the isolation takes its toll. I can’t walk by my cell phone without picking it up to check for messages. I begin to straighten the crooked pictures on the walls. Thick floor tiles creak from my weight. My eyes are drawn again and again to water-marks on the ceiling.

Each time I start an outboard, I expect the starter cord to break. The line on my fishing reel is beginning to curl like a head of unruly hair. It twists and tangles in the wind. Is there sufficient gas to grill one more steak? How long will the jug of water last? Is there enough gasoline in the truck to reach the border?

The lake is moving like a river and grasses are dry and turning brown. A few yellow leaves dot the ground. I long to hear children laughing above the birds. I want neighbors who wave back. Suddenly, it’s all too much and time to go home. Time to fly.

fields of stubble—
somewhere in the wind
the lonesome