IV. Riviere Chiagnez

 

Just past exit 15, before you reach the flea market—

            the pastor’s wife will be selling boiled peanuts by the bucket—

                                                                                                on weekdays.

 

Look, underneath each shell is a verse from John {no one is quite sure how she does it}.

 

                                                            In the beginning was the Word.

                                                            Unless you people see signs and wonders,

                                                            you will never believe.

 

The shells get shucked from windows about a mile north

and land near a stream that will be frozen this time of year.

 

Foxes will likely dart across the ice leaving blueberry paw-prints.

 

 

            Last year two brothers went to the stream searching for a lost lacrosse ball.

            The older ate their peanuts on the shore while the younger put

                                                                                                              a hole in the ice

                                                                                                             with the heel of his boot.

His sock was damp the whole ride home

and he stayed in bed this past Christmas

with a cough—

sick as a dog.