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Breath & Shadow

Fall 2015 - Vol. 12, Issue 4

"Sick Day"

written by

Austin Wallace

I can escape, almost, past

eyes that stare. Feet bare

I squish through mud, puddles


forming in my heart. Darting

through the river, fish dodge

jagged stones, worries swarm


like flies I soon outrun.

Sunlight dries grass

wet with dew, smooths goose pimples


that dot my forearms, thighs. Lengthwise across the sky clouds stretch like cotton pulled apart. A wooden cart, abandoned


for Fords, reminds me of errands

as yet undone. One rabbit

watches from the far shore,


nervously nibbling grass. A mass

of hyacinths protrudes, purple

bruise on the pale brown land.


Somewhere a dying pronghorn's whine

subsides. Beside my bed a nurse

pulls up the blinds.

Austin Wallace is a former teacher who now works as a Disability Rights Advocate, and sometimes writes poetry. His poems have appeared in Abyss & Apex, Extracts, Frogpond, The Stray Branch, and Wordgathering.

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