They were men, their faces half shadowed
from flickering firelight,
I was a boy on soft ground, two old hounds
between me and the rocked ring of the pit.
Leonard would holler and a glorious sound would come from his red fiddle,
but I imagined it was the forest’s song
and my eyes would close from exhaustion and the weight of dreams.

I would warm my hands on the belly of the Bluetick,
his eyes never quite shut, always watching while resting,

ready for the chase.
“David, you ain’t sleepin’, are ya?”
Hot chocolate and pipe smoke,
the smell of coonhound and

Two old Fords with round hoods stood darkly
at our backs, facing home
where morning would pass slowly
into day
where faults and cold rain


David Magill

David Magill, born in Kansas City, Missouri, moved to Minnesota as a young boy and grew up on a hobby farm in Afton. He has been married to his wife, Patti, for 23 years. His work has recently been published in Metonym,The Esthetic Apostle, Cagibi, Swimming with Elephants, Dreamers, Wanderlust, Sky Island Journal, and Rock & Sling. He has also been nominated for a Pushcart prize in poetry for 2019.

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