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Allison Thorpe

danny boy wilcox bids farewell to lake Michigan

Danny Boy Wilcox buried his pot in the sand.
I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time.
People said he had no home, slept on the beach,
charmed the fish with just his hands.
Everyone liked him but no one knew why —
he wasn't handsome or funny or rich —
more an old dog always around
that didn't hunt or bark
and sometimes forgot to be fed.

Children digging in the sand found the drugs
and told their mother who told the police
who put it back and waited to see
who came to reclaim the fragrant baggies.
They gathered and circled that day,
a big event in a small town.
Some hid behind bushes and buildings,
some in vacation clothes but easy to spot.

When Danny Boy reappeared on the scene
everyone tensed as he walked toward the shore.
In that stillness he stood and stared at the water 
as if he were Santiago in search of marlin,
the Ancient Mariner seeking omens,
Ahab hunting a great white soul.
When he turned he looked like a lost sailor
whose feet landed uncertain steps on solid ground.

Allison Thorpe is the author of Thoughts While Swinging a Wild Child in a Green Mesh Hammock (Janze Publications), Swooning and Other Art Forms (a NFSPS chapbook winner), What She Sees: Poems for Georgia O'Keefe (forthcoming from White Knuckle Press), and To This Sad and Lovely Land (runner-up in 2014 Gambling the Aisle Chapbook Contest). Recent work appears or is forthcoming in South85 Journal, Scapegoat Review, The Meadow, The Citron Review, Front Range Review, Green Mountains Review, Trickster, Freshwater, Clapboard House, Third Wednesday, Appalachian Heritage, Agave Magazine, Naugatuck River Review, and Motif v4 - seeking its own level: an anthology of writings about water, among others. A Pushcart nominee, she is currently working on her first novel.

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