A last rock-skip hurlstorm (crazing river-glass)
the closest they ever were.
snared and split some fire-supper cooked on sticks.
By dawn the older brother took to chucking
what bottle-frags he could find and crud-oysters across.
The (high-pitched) younger blacked our waters
with a yowl.
Lord the sound such as rose from him
Hadn’t they clung tooth and claw to branch and bark.
—Came a man (and truck) to take them off.
some say somewheres upcountry,
Where it was they landed (why) nobody not them knows.
just how they humped and grubbled home
what road they’d graved what woods criss-crossed
which creeks which trains they’d hopped who helped.
Came safe home sure but blank as houses.
Came safe home —as him —and him.
—as (evermore) not them.
Source: Poetry (April 2011).