Issue > Poetry
John Morrison

John Morrison

John Morrison earned his M.F.A. from the University of Alabama and received the 2003 C. Hamilton Bailey Poetry Fellowship from Literary Arts. His book, Heaven of the Moment won the 2006 Rhea & Seymour Gorsline Poetry Competition and was a finalist for the 2008 Oregon Book Award in poetry. He has taught poetry at the University of Alabama, Washington State University, Vancouver, and the Attic Institute in Portland, Oregon.

The Last Wild Stretch Of Hurricane Creek

Runs back behind the barn
where my uncle and I, gloved
and muddy, grip, brace and yank out
briar by roots for pasture. I am
proud and grateful he has chosen me

for brawn and conversation and a rich metaphor
to roam around in. Unlike my father

he isn't afraid I'll gash myself
with the sickle or stumble
and stab him backside. I know all
I think doesn't matter in the world
but I hum along anyway between grunts,

my muscles flush and steady,
as my mind starts upstream to meet you
on the trail down in the grey and heavy
humidity that means brief showers
of big drops to chase other hikers
away from the pool tucked at a turn
in the hills. We strip and slip pale into

the cool green water we share
with a pair of floating turtles,
and find each other for a long kiss.

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