Camp Prodigal Sun
In our sleeping bags rainstorms slept
beside us. You were the inside spoon
when a thunderclap passed through us
like a lie made true by the game
of repeating it. Flag-weary and trumpet-
ready, Taps shined above the lily pads
of the ponds our dreams skipped us
across. Dixie tapped its nails on window-
sills as near to us as eyelids. Sleep,
the visor our sky sloped over, we saw
tattered in a bramble thicket, blown off
during the obstacle course of finding it.
We rose when the sun woke us
like a snore, restored by the body’s
space for its own brokenness.
One morning, a sandbar. You stashed
wet Petoskey stones in a chest made
too heavy to haul. This was the canoe
in which you learned to almost drown.
Breath was rabid water in a timid river,
and you were the night you spent
brushing riverbanks from your hair.
lives with his wife outside Washington, D.C. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Salt Hill, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Greensboro Review, Grist, The Southeast Review, The Rumpus,
and elsewhere. He was a finalist for the 2012 Gearhart Poetry Prize, the 2013 New Millennium Writings Award for Poetry, and the 2013 Third Coast
Poetry Prize. He teaches high school English. Find him online at www.benrgold.com