STONING THE BIRDS /Michael Waters How can any bird-hunting boy know the low passages through the thorned and knotted brambles tul he veers off the horse-trail to startle some couple love-making among the pines, her yessing head haloed with gnats as his back sweeps their splintery bed of brown needles, tongues looping their vague script upon sky? I swayed near the thicket, fingering pocketsful of stones, till she stopped oaring the air to glance at me, register my familiar, acned face, then shrug back to her sleepy summer pleasure. What did I matter, one goofy teenager dumb-struck in khaki shorts, as he bucked and she bounced, then unglued herself from his gUstening, slug-sUck stump? I finaUy jolted awake enough to sneaker back the path to Twin Mountains Manor spiders off the shuffleboard court and my mother staggered the stiff-backed I dawdled tul the sinners sidled where my bent father swept long-legged Adirondock chairs into rows for spectators. among us, staring hard for any sign of dark compUcity, tick-ridden consdences, ash streaked on her temple or sulphur sUtting his eyes, as he chalked his name, Benny, onto the scoreboard, then toed the Une. What did I know about the
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1993
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