The Wintry Wait to Work


A cold eight degrees at eight in the morning

as a mourning dove perches on the telephone wire,

Mona’s conversation with her new man

running under its talons. I see


a shattered flowerpot, glazed with ice,

lying in a lawn of discolored grass,

the long and twisty roots of its winter-dead

creeping along the ground.


At the corner bus stop the 58 doesn’t come,

the line that gets me to work,

to the flashy downtown high-rise,

to Louisville Gas and Electric.


Cars stop at the traffic light like in a video game,

stuffed with grey-haired obstetricians,

chubby day-care staff, and middle school math teachers.

I don’t breathe their smoke or feel their heat. I’m cold

to their George Strait and Stan Getz, can’t drink their coffee.


Above the avenue sits another dove,

a cooing stranger to the first, and the cars

scatter each time the light turns green,

whipping wind and pumping exhaust into my face.


Common advice says worry only about what you can control.

So I recall Kaufmann’s window ad on Market Street:

“$19.99 Solid Sweater Sale!”

Green, not grey, I think,

only because that’s what Mona would say.



Television Light


In the autumn forest I could

not find the screech-

owl that night, the rotating neck

in the moonlight, the fool’s

gold pupils hunting in

the crypt of darkness. But I

headed back at the usual

time, ready for a cup

of tea and the warmth

of blankets. My sister was

up, her leg hurting again, changing

channels on the tv. “Only movies

on are ones I’ve seen

before.” Our father came

down from bed, needing

an alka-seltzer. “Stop staying

up so late.” He turned and

left, squinting, in his white, holey

underwear, showing crack, and sister

asked why I had a lizard leg stuck

in the corner of my mouth. On

the screen two grouse pecked

in a thicket. I heard hands feeling

around in the dark hallway,

feeling for the switch.




The Girl on the Wall


The rural route winds

between clear brooks and wafts of manure

on this bridge connecting

livestock to distant modernity

where we delay for potholes, not tolls,

cattle, not red lights.


At the third stop a girl

sits barefoot on the stone wall,

idyllic breeze over healthy hair,

left hand in her aunt’s,

curious of the motorized giant

taking her mother in its belly.

Crystal blues peer into

the next world’s toy.


My memories reflect in the window,

the mysteries I boarded long ago:

Appalachian hollow turned to crowded metropolis,

suburban subdivisions to sub-Saharan Africa,

sickly pigs to stately pork, moonshine to Grand Marnier,

Budweiser commercials to Georgian supras.


Her venture will not take my route,

but neither can I return to hers.

If we stay put, do we shrivel?

If we go, do we lose our core?


I look closely at the girl,

see her through the glass.

She desires her turn

for a world of lights, of leaves.

Would I take all my photos down to start again?



The Withered


The heated fields bleed

in yellow brimstone,

framed by the perfuming farms

of our fatty nipples.

Crows, lost

and uncountable as they

waver in the sky

like the dark,

winged contours

of a dyed moustache

over a glib lip.


I have stumbled into

this golden age,

seeing its plastic

bifocals and chorus

as packs of dogs

howling through the dusk

of the heart,

bargains desired

for the fields forgotten.



Timothy B. Dodd


Timothy B. Dodd is from Mink Shoals, WV. His writing has appeared in Yemassee, The Owen Wister Review, Main Street Rag, The William & Mary Review, and elsewhere. He is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Texas El Paso.

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