The voice of Stag Country is a lady of a certain age with prodigious recall and uncommon skill at opinion-giving in a place where opinions far outnumber people. A graduate of the class of nineteen-hundred-and-something, she was an Antlerette. She twirled. She represented the Lady Stags in seven sports. The capital of Stag Country lies where two roads cross. It has a creek; the pecans are good if you can stoop to get them; the air is clean. I cannot be more specific. The only thing I can allege with certainty is that the town is far from where you live.

(More in Works, This Is Stag Country)


(For Harold J. Nichols, 1924-2013)

Flame faltering upward,
candle shriveling to a nub of itself
spiked in a saucering tray
stays its ending stubbornly.

Wick gutters on wax wasting away,
fire’s clay now next to nothing,
rib-battering heart going into stall
like a sky-jacked bird jimmies a landing.

(More in Works)