Winter 2001 vol 1.2
Hidden Things
James Haug
Often I return to a dirt road
where a hill rose to a dead-end, then
woods where a path thread in.

A wire fence framed the Mooney’s yard
more to keep in than to keep out.
I loved the little girl, even her retarded

brother spooning muddy water from a wagon.
Howdy was a song
I’d croon to their snarling white dog.

Beyond the woods spread a clearing
of cow-corn and construction craters.
Willows shook over a dirty pond,

a bicycle chassis tilting bone-like
out of the muck, and a boy
whacking cattails with a heavy stick.

Often I return to a dirt road
where the car stuck under a gauze
of dust looked too good to sit and rot,

and it was—the salesman at the wheel,
dazed, shaking himself awake;
where a two-storey swept off by flood

bobbed somehow right side up
over a small dam, and landed right here,
the child upstairs asleep.