Storm Passing, Six Mile Creek
Robert Lee Kendrick

A clearing sky. Still    
the air carries tinges    
of rain, waits for more   
change in the pressure.   
A deer carcass left by coyotes   
rises in early June heat,   
flies speckling the hide.   
Soon, the maggots' birth,   
so many white mouths  
slow as gloved fingers   
of the night nurse's hand   
in St. Joseph's hospital    
room 243, lifting my smock.   
Moistened latex,     
his lips coaxing blood   
to harden boy's skin.   
A morphine slow churn  
from stomach to throat 
still wakes in the nerves   
thirty years later.   
Evening sun settles    
over the creek,   
catalyst for sour flesh    
& wood rot,   
food for old vine    
& fresh shoot,   
last warmth for the backs    
of hunters & prey.  

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