Oregon Coast Range, 1997
Morning's mossy orchard
totally spidered. We’d get high,
watching them drop and weave.
Bored by noon, you’d stick-rip a web,
scrambling a repair, the way storms
sparked us into cold rain
to fix a crushed fence,
keeping out the town’s careless
Don’t worry, you’d wave
to the sheriff driving by,
fans humming, ammonia, methanol,
propane tanks valved blue,
spiders plucking threads so sticky and smooth
even they could hardly move.
Red-stained coffee filters
that smelled like piss.
Couched in our gauzy gray parlor,
young angels soared and dangled
until we sucked them skinny. Pipes, bras, cash
and a bunch of trash you'd burn on Sunday,
wondering why I'd drive off
in the middle of the night
without half the money.
Henry Hughes’ poems have appeared in Antioch Review, Carolina Quarterly, Harvard Review, Shenandoah, Southern Humanities Review, Seattle Review, Sewanee Review and J Journal. He is the author of four poetry collections, including Men Holding Eggs, which received the Oregon Book Award. Hughes is the editor of The Art of Angling: Poems about Fishing and Fishing Stories (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets Series). He is a regular book reviewer for Harvard Review.