Discharges & Day Shifts
Robert Lee Kendrick

Reckless from a March    
of hard rain, Six Mile Creek    
folds itself in Lake Hartwell, 
trades a top coat of algae 
& shadow for whip cracks    
of sun on its back.   
Uncashed paycheck    
folded over the box cutter  
in my pocket, creases as sharp    
as this lazy ike's zig zag. 
Cast & return. Such agitation 
at the end of the line, 
to come back empty hooked.  
Small mouths aren't fooled.  

Before dawn tomorrow,  
I'll stand in flood light    
by the loading dock door,    
a fresh blade ready to cut time     
by the pallet & heave through   
the day that comes off trucks    
in one cardboard box after another     

& I'll come back to this water    
with a head full of doubts    
to find the creek still pulsing    
& the lake still wrapping around it,   
bound together in turbulence.  

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