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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 1, March 2018

Peter Newton
Winchendon, Massachusetts, USA

Whooping Creek Church Road

Out here you get used to the solemn faces filing past on their way to pray. Heading to their primitive one-room church in the woods, they gather all their scorn to shoot it your way. We heathen sinners learn to live with the history and the old haunts. You learn to let it go, just wave matter-of-factly at the pickups that pass as if you belonged here from the beginning.

Not a local but proud of your ramshackle shotgun shack. A right Southern gentleman yessirree. All the place of worship you need. Out in the middle of nowhere. Perfect for a transplant like you who likes sleep when he’s asleep, space when he’s awake. Cattle ranches all around. Church bells just far enough away to remember the sound of kids playing on a playground, how good everything sounds at a distance. The nearest neighbor a hundred-year-old oak out in the middle of the field where the crows raise hell. Past that a new farmer just moved in a half-mile up the hill. Some guy raising bison trying to ride the buffalo burger craze. You've already gotten used to seeing them from your evening perch on the back porch steps. On the ridge, come sunset you can see the behemoths silhouetted like on the back of an old nickel.

God’s creatures alright. Almost too beautiful to believe. . . the world we live in. Nothing to do but look, listen and feel. This is how you come back to life.

turning me
into one of them
a thousand starlings



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