Journal » Trout 16 » Teen Cusp: 3 [David Howard]
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Teen Cusp: 3

David Howard


Am I my brother's keeper?

Moses, Genesis 5:1.34


He never expected to be good
looking. Under the blue gum
an axe, a pair of leather gloves,
and his muscles. He knows

girls get dugs, then they want to
hang off the fence, watching
his down stroke, how it
splits the strongest knot.


Opens the windows, tips
bitter grounds onto sweet pea.
He was born awkward, the boy
least likely. But his brother
gets girls to undress, then

jump into the creek. They wriggle
like eels, half in half
out of sight. One hit a stump
submerged near the overflow.
She was bloody lucky.

It took the competition to get them
back. A dragonfly rested on his rod
and his brother shook, he
hooked that stump to the truck
spoiling the fishing. Next summer

cut up the bugger for her.


The sun used to last eight trailers
delivered over West Harbour – today
it fails after three. Hardly worth
pulling his boots on but a man has to
stretch his legs, pretend

the job is what it's about. Quietly
he'd like to try her – ginger,
cut-off Wranglers and the Swanndri
open like his mind. He turns
his back to her, feels the blade.

She feels his shoulder blades.


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