A single shallow creek
flowed through
those plain flat fields,

but gave us
all we needed,

its banks
a hint of wilderness,
free from prying
adult eyes,

our wigwams
built of sticks
and sumac fronds,

cub scout knives
to sharpen willow spears,

flint and steel
to light a fire,

the deep spot
where we dove.

I will always know
the snapping turtle’s
golden eyes,

the kingfisher’s cackle
and splash,

the water snake
that made us scatter,

how we dreamt
we’d cross the ocean,
or travel
back in time,

to lands more welcoming
of boys
with tiger stripes
of mud.


Poem by Steve Brammell


Steve Brammell has worked as a freelance writer for various publications including Alabama Magazine and Birmingham Magazine as well as industries and medical institutions. His poems and short fiction have appeared in journals such as RavensPerch, Northwest Indiana Literary Journal, White Wall Review, The Tiny Seed Literary Journal, The Write Launch, Flying Island Journal, Cathexis Northwest Press, Toho Journal, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and others. Finishing Line Press recently published his book of short stories entitled Red Mountain Cut. Steve has also enjoyed an interesting parallel career in the restaurant and wine business for the past 25 years. He is graduate of Wabash College and a member of the Indiana Writers Center.