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John C. Mannone: A Glint of Steel

92_glintofsteel_soriano.jpg
Art by Nancy Soriano 2022

A Glint of Steel

 

by

 

                                               John C. Mannone        

 

 

A few cinders poofed inside the stone ring and charcoal ash flew up as dust-soot into the cold dawn. Shriveled-up bacon draped the hickory limbs where they had once crackled over fire; ranch coffee in aluminum pots, muddied with grounds, now tepid and abandoned; and blackberry jam, crusted on half-bitten biscuits, stopped oozing on hardened crumbs long before noon. And the flies swarmed.

 

Dew streaked the nylon tents in dead calm air. Even the squirrels and the chickadees were quiet today. The last stand of virgin timber stood silent. Only lizards stirred. The skinks scurried over the oak picnic tables—one was covered over with yesterday’s newspaper.

 

The headline read that a suspect in the Jamestown murders had escaped from the maximum security prison. One of the guards was shiv’d through his neck. It was unwritten how he had managed that.

 

The escapee once told the news media why he is the way he is, does what he does. “I used to think that I was a serial killer, but I’m not; momma said so.” Witnesses said they saw him head south toward the border, but he disappeared as a ghost.

 

~~~

 

By the woods north of town, seven teens from Grendel County High had camped in the holler. Echoes of their cries still hung on tulip poplars and loblolly pines. And those pines needled the air, scarlet dripping with the mist.

 

The sun rose with blood on its hands and a glint of steel in its eyes.

 

 

 

John C. Mannone has poems in Windhover, North Dakota Quarterly, Poetry South, Baltimore Review, and others. Winner/Nominee of numerous contests/awards, John edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other journals. He’s a retired physics professor living in Knoxville, Tennessee.

 

http://jcmannone.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/jcmannone/



Nancy Soriano grew up in New York City and now resides in the Hudson Valley. She loves the darker side of art—and life. She is rediscovering her love of photography through her latest muse, her cat Zoey. 

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2022