Hayden's Ferry Review


Happy July 4th!

Going through the HFR archive, I had some trouble finding an appropriate Independence Day poem. Our contributors don't like to talk about independence, or freedom or - even - apple pie. I suppose fireworks are kind of heavy handed for a poem? Fine. And I guess "Declaration of Independence" doesn't rhyme with a lot of stuff. So here's what we've got: a poster celebrating Summer from Silver Buckle Press, which appeared in issue #25. And a poem from issue #31 which strikes me as very American, contains an explosion, and is called "Consitution," though is not about the document. Enjoy! And have a wonderful holiday.

By Caki Wilkinson

I have an Uncle Hugh
who shot his car.

It had something to do
with the carburetor,
and the seventh or eighth time
it steamed and smoked
instead of purred and sped,
he pulled his rifle
from the coat closet
and popped the gas tank
into a balloon of fire.

I asked my mother
did he feel bad
and she said
when a man's got a temper
he never feels bad, and
Uncle Hugh's like Daddy--
he'd shoot down
the big dipper
if he thought it sprung a leak.

I worry about that.

Some days
when the garage door
and the dog
pees on the newspaper
instead of retrieving it,
I watch a single, blue vein
and throb
across my father's forehead
and I think of Uncle Hugh,
the way he stood there
with his mess of fire,
the way his family filed out
to the front porch,
squinting through all that
orange light,
and the way Uncle Hugh
never made a sound,
wiped his sweaty cheek,
picked his back tooth.