A Borrowed View

In a borrowed room

the hitchhikers

share a diminished view

of the city at dawn:

the sunrise fractured

by clouds

and the Waffle House sign

and of course the interstate.

With blurry eyes

they can’t fully see

or remember which direction

they came from

or where they want to go.


Almost before

this experience is over

it has been added

to the other experiences

so similar in all

the important ways

that they run together,

which wouldn’t be so bad

if this moment of confusion

weren’t the only thing

they could safely rely on.


The Red Cedar

Every year someone drowns

in this river

which is named

for the cedar leaves

coloring its water.

It is always

a college student,

a dreamer or

outcast or sometimes

just someone

coming home from

the bar too late

with too much

on their mind.


No one is ever

sure of what drew

them toward the water’s

edge. Perhaps the way

ducks huddle against

the bank or tree roots

hang over the water

like a step,

like an invitation

to some unknown world

where movement is

a given and progress

and destruction

are often the same.


by John Abbott

John Abbott is a writer, musician, and English instructor who lives with his wife and daughter in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Potomac Review, Georgetown Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Arcadia, Atticus Review, upstreet, Underground Voices, Fast Forward: A Collection of Flash Fiction, and many others. His first chapbook “There Should Be Signs Here” is forthcoming from Wormwood Chapbooks. For more information about his writing, please visit www.johnabbottauthor.com

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