Cynthia Macdonald

C
Cynthia Macdonald
Robert Underhill’s Present
He was eight when they gave him the felt overcoat—
his birthday.

He knew it was special.
He was still reading Walter Scott not Gogol. The coat was light grey
and he was a knight in armor. It was adamant. Iced snowballs
and other missiles no longer hurt. Or barely.

He grew as do all boys who are not dwarves or midgets. The coat
grew, too. It kept pain out, and in.
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The Tune He Saw
Woods. A stand, waiting for the bite, the teeth.
Joshua Briggs picks logs from the stack he’s cut,
Sticks them in the black belly, fixing dinner—
Pork, beans and slaw—before the night’s concert.
Tunes shimmy in pieces. He looks out at his lot, his stand of
Woods. Notes the green. That shine.
“Play a tune on a jug; the moon pops out like a cork.
But that’s nothing to playing a saw.”
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