Jenny MacBain-Stephens

Backyard Poem #10

There was a creek behind the house in Ohio. No grass grew. It was never still and silent. That was the summer I learned people didn’t keep their word. The tree canopy kept the swamp dark and buggy. It was the perfect place to hunt for night crawlers to sell. My brother spent a summer collecting long purple worms in a jar. He was hoping to make big money at the hardware store in town. The owner said he would take some for a fraction of what was promised. Angrily my brother dumped the worms back outside near the creek, watched the wiggly bodies thrash and attempt to rebury themselves into mud and darkness. A partial view of my friend Jessie’s back yard with an oxygen tank upright in the dust. Jessie’s mom takes a hit from the tank, calls in the pug. A bat flies out of our cat’s mouth.