Doug Stuber

Rural Myth

After I skate off the last edge, bump into rough treatment,

fall off the cliff, the steady thump of boots-to-trail awakens

that spark, as I push up through bedrock, a lakebed

awaiting, through rocks, some shale, to start my frantic

swim to the surface where air stimulates: I feel the cold

water once life returns, but what did I learn buried so far,

sniffing the salt caves, alone at my age, noticeably nude

as I beat hypothermia to the leaf-barren trees, not yet

budding in the brisk new spring? Is there a precocious four

leaf clover rising at Onanda, the pine tree girl’s camp

turned into pristine, simple, non-electrified cabin resort? Is it

quick to be lost, cherished then missed by the heart of an

11-year-old boy, who, not having pets, wants to preserve it,

the fruition of a joke come true? “I see a four-leaf clover,”

he says, then reaches down and finds one to pick at once.

He’s not afraid to hand it to me, but, embarrassed by nudity,

I hand it back, borrow a towel, scamper to shelter, try to

find a phone, to remember the number of someone I knew

thirty years ago who might give up their sail, fish, swim,

trilobite hunt to take a funny trip to a clothing store, for starters.

2 thoughts on “Doug Stuber

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