The boy loves lying

in this open field, blinking

at the bowl of summer sky.

Heedless of wiregrass itching his neck, of ants

sizing up his ears,

he tracks the somber wings that float

and swoop in primordial arcs

as though suspended

from puppeteer’s strings. Still

as a graveyard angel

the boy believes he can draw them near.


The pitch-black hunters

wheel through the midday glare,

shadows skimming the ground

crossing the boy’s pale legs.

He can almost feel the first one

thump onto his chest,

feel the talons’ fish-hook grip,

smell the stench of outstretched wings,

poised as in a dream,

above this small emptiness

in the shape of a boy.


Ken Hines has been an ad agency creative director and a college English teacher, two jobs that require getting through to people who may not be listening. When he finally got around to writing poetry, his work appeared in literary magazines like Dunes Review, Burningwood Literary Journal, Hole in the Head Review, Rockvale Review, and Third Wednesday Journal. A recent Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, he lives in monument-free Richmond, Virginia with his wife, Fran.


Ken Hines

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