MUSED
BellaOnline Literary Review
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Table of Contents

Poetry


Old Peter Wilkins

Pam Clements

With supper dishes done, kids
pour out screen doors
into June evenings
as the sun winks low
through willow dusk;
bats and nighthawks dart
above darkening yards,
the best, long, loosening time of day.

Then the evening’s designated villain
impersonates Old Peter Wilkins –
on different nights a haggard pirate,
deadly kidnapper,
ghost or long-dead ghoul –
sometimes with hook or stump
sometimes hunchbacked
sometimes afflicted with the evil eye –
begins to stalk the rest.

Caught, the stragglers he drags
inside the oxblood barn,
delighted, struggle free,
dash outside,
daring to be caught again.




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