The light fades late in north Wisconsin.
Long summer days linger over pine,
and the birch swamps wash in weak sun
like the sun you’d see in a movie
where a man or beloved dog picks
a path through the hummocks
toward home after being gone
a long time. By the time the light
is gone, no one’s come. You drink,
throw horseshoes, and only know
ringers by their clings and sparks
when the prong catches the pin.
Each muscle remembers what it did
and can do it again. They remember
clutch and release, the arm outstretched
after the shoe leaves, like it wants back
what’s sailing past your grip.
Adam Houle’s work has appeared in AGNI, Shenandoah, Cave Wall, Zone 3, the Best New Poets anthology, and elsewhere. Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, he holds a PhD from Texas Tech and lives in Darlington, South Carolina.