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Gun Buck Before Dawn-Fiction by j. brooke
Grunt-Fiction by Kevin Z. Garvey
A Stab in the Dark-Fiction by Gary Clifton
Run, Robby, Run, Part 2-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Surprise Me-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Here They Come-Captain Jack, Part 2-Fiction by Michael S. Stewart
Evolution=Crime-Fiction by Calvin Demmer
Bike Killer-Fiction by Doug Hawley
Home on the Range-Fiction by Liz McAdams
Tickets to Heaven-Fiction by Paul Heatley
Free-Flash Fiction by Andrew J. Hogan
I Hate Dave Matthews-Flash Fiction by Carolyn Smuts
The Journey-Flash Fiction by Oliver Lodge
Running-Poem by Meg Baird
in your shoes-Poem by J. J. Campbell
At Midnight-Poem by Sergio Ortiz
Roadkill-Poem by Rachel Doherty
Skinny Dendrix-Poem by Joe Balaz
poet-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Shy Dryad-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Someone Else's Cat-Poem by John Doyle
Sundays-Poem by John Doyle
Farewell, Bibi-Poem by David Spicer
Rolling Down the Highway...-Poem by David Spicer
No One Ever Asked Winslow This-Poem by Gregory E. Lucas
The Adirondack Guide-Poem by Gregory E. Lucas
Why Back to Gloucester, Boys?-Poem by Gregory E. Lucas
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
The Gazing Ball
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

NO ONE EVER ASKED WINSLOW THIS

(Inspired by Winslow Homer’s painting Boy Fishing.)

by Gregory E. Lucas

 

Are we to bear in mind the agony,

the tragic fate of the netted rainbow trout,   

frantic in a desperate struggle to survive,

thrashing its dark fanned caudal fin in bursts

against the rim so low above the stream

and tilted just enough to spark illusions  

of springing free from the entangling mesh

its captor trails through the cold subtle current

that flows through this Adirondack wilderness?

 

Should we consider at all the fish’s plight

while green and brown and blue ripples spread out

at mid-morning toward a gently sloping fall?

While a sky shines the brightest gold and tints

likewise, the farthest granite mountain peaks?

While the nearby forest—blurred, black, and green—

beguiles us with its depth and mysteries?  

 

Are we to set all unpleasant thoughts aside,

savor the full sweet joy of this teenage boy

—his head covered by a floppy straw hat,

seated at the canoe’s stern, the bow tipped high

to catch the sun’s warm glow on the gunwale’s ribs—

as he casts his line in a broad arc downstream,

the rod almost aligned with one suspender

stretched across his long-sleeved flannel shirt

colored the same as a perfect summer sky?

 

Or, when he tucks his chin behind a shoulder,

deepening the shadows lingering on his face, 

are we to marvel that pain and boyhood thrills,

commingling as they do here with rare ease,

evoke such charm in this remarkable scene?

Gregory Lucas writes poetry and fiction. His fiction has appeared in previous issues of Yellow Mama, Pif, Blueline, The Horror Zine, Dark Dossier, The New Press, and other magazines. His poems have been in The Lyric, Scarlet Leaf, Blueline, Literary Juice, Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, and other magazines.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2017