Green Hills Literary Lantern



Rural Idyll TKO


the muscled kid with the brain-

damaged limp and clue-

less defiance bit off

the head of a fish, showing

off for my toddlers,

then spit it out along with

an unabridged catalogue

of curse words till I chased him

up the hill to his pink trailer.


Our cottage had no television.

Clear stars pricked with abundance.

Wildflowers adorned poison ivy.

When the cottage was vacant,

he fished on our small pond,

his clear-eyed brother

explained, asking where

we were from, how long

we were going to stay.











My son rubbed his feet against the carpet,

touched his computer, and fried the mother board.


My mother's x-ray reveals screws and bolts.

She clutches her blue satin cushion, limping


toward the beige elevator that’s going down

without her. My children like to rhyme.


It's their bubble gum. They bob down the driveway

like ecstatic dolphins on waves of senseless joy.


One sustained note from an amplified guitar lingers

into something solid on this cold, snowy night


even God might forsake, if he had a choice. Hoping

for an anchor, I grab at the rope.



Jim Daniels' most recent books include Revolt of the Crash-Test Dummies, Eastern Washington University Press, and Mr. Pleasant, Michigan State University Press, both published in 2007.