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by Daniel Rattelle
after Robert Frost
Well I’ll be damned, the old man had it right.
An August day, the air was thick with flies,
and his beloved brook was really just
a streak of muck along the path. The woods
were cool and shady though, and gave
us respite from the sun and buzzing wings.
I risked a leap across but slapped
as if a bullfrog in the mud. It caked
up to my knees; I didn’t mind so much
but sat, the only one around, beneath
a gone-wild apple tree at noon;
I know, some kind of omen. There I scratched
some lines out in the dirt, long washed
away now, by the swollen, snow-melt brook.