by Alexander Johns

The lake was hot,
stagnant, useless water,
and it added value to a house,
a ‘70’s contemporary
that sat on its edge
in a seven-digit subdivision.

(My Swiss-German friend was named
for a Latin revolutionary;
his atheist parents spoke
the language of progressive nobility.)


we stalked the lake’s edge
with a b-b gun.
The woodpecker was all
we could hear
for the minute
its head would poke out
from the tree.

He raised the gun
and fired.
The breathy click went out across the water...

and the head hung still.

After a while the bird fell
from the tree.

Strangely, he seemed
his most happy the night before
he hung himself.


I was born (1970) and raised in Atlanta, GA, but in 1999, after years spent traveling as much as possible and as a round peg in the square hole of urban commerce, I moved to the Athens, GA area, where I received my MA in English Literature from the University of Georgia. I currently teach English at Gainesville College. I've had some poems published by Scrivener's Pen. Many thanks.


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