IN THE HEYDAYS OF HIS EYES
(taut jeans dancing)

An Anthology of Poetry about Being Young and Growing Up
 
 
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HALCYON DAYS

Jim Barnes

Charlie Wolf used to whittle skinning knives and swords from empty apple crates in winter. He carved out blades I knew would never break, true blades I knew instead would slice right through any weed I chose to make a running deer or any Rhode Island Red I chose to see as enemy of God and man. Each old hen knew my whoop meant feathers lost or worse and squawked accordingly. Old Charlie used to say that's why we got so many eggs double-yolked--"scared the stuff right out of them with that sword and that wild-eyed Choctaw yell." Every sword I ever had before Charlie drowned drunk on a coon hunt on the Arkansas smelled of apples. Streaking round the barnyard junk like a bullsnake after chicks, I breathed pure Christmas before each ambush of red hens, the white pine sword gleaming between my teeth.

 
 
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