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  • Writer's pictureBulb Culture Collective

Burning Bush Lane by Lee Potts

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

From the culvert’s eroded arch

we leaned out above our shadows

trying to see

the sodden glimmer of fish,

fat, floating and still,

pondering all that passed,

taking their dense breath out of the same

rainwater that ran down the roof

we slept under.

Everything washed out

of our neighborhood

ended up in the creek.

Open safety pins,

stolen from our mother,

impaled pearls of stale bread as bait

at the end of thick, white string.

We imagined our lines snagged

on the decayed corduroy coat

that had held down the drowned boy

everyone in town heard about but no one knew

as he was pulled along and out of our world,

running away the morning of the storm

instead of going to school.

We knew each hook was really lost

to fallen branches

because they gave

a little but pulled back

just before the string broke.

Rock wouldn’t give at all.

With their tails already shorter

and legs just beginning

we could easily catch tadpoles by hand.

Spots, purple like engine oil on a puddle,

grew across their backs and bellies

before they died in a bucket

in the shadow behind the shed.


Originally Published by Cold Creek Review, 2018


Lee Potts, author of the chapbook And Drought Will Follow (Frosted Fire, 2021), is poetry editor at Barren Magazine. His work has appeared in The Night Heron Barks, Rust + Moth, Whale Road Review, UCity Review, Firmament, Moist Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. He lives just outside of Philadelphia. He’s @LeePottsPoet on Twitter.

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