-Photo by Gayle J. Greenlea
There is only one Bobby O
and one perfect afternoon crystallized in memory
Amber light flickering on the surface of the pond
like the freckles skipping across his nose
The wriggling worm offered between his fingers and the invitation
to pull. Me, his cousin, determined not to be the squeamish girl
The worm snapped between us, one half for each hook;
cruelty of threading bait the only cloud in our sky
Torn heart for a small creature, amplified across the decades
as the cord of cousinhood snaps for good, in this life.
But grief cannot touch that otherwise perfect day. Sun glinting
through the trees, rush of wind ruffling our hair, cicada song
thrumming Summer’s anthem. His crooked grin and shining
eyes, flashing mischief, humor, love. The sweetness
of sitting side by side in grass fragrant with contentment,
our laughter echoing along the Blue Ridge. Lines in the water,
a gentle tug.
– Gayle J. Greenlea
Bio and Links
-Gayle J. Greenlea
is an American-Australian poet and writer. Her poem, “Wonderland”, received the Australian Poetry Prod Award in 2011. She shortlisted and longlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize in 2013, and debuted her novel, Zero Gravity, at the KGB Literary Bar in Manhattan in 2016. Her work has been published in St. Julian Press, Rebelle Society, A Time to Speak, Headline Poetry and Press, The Wombwell Rainbow, Stanford University Life in Quarantine, Fevers of the Mind, Kalonopia, San Antonio Review, and Ice Floe Press.