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Clay pottery with table linens_edited.jpg


—John Dorroh


Baptize me with river, a creek if water’s an issue.

Let it trickle over Uncle Wheeler’s dead feet, his

ankles covered with hunting boots. He never looked

up beyond those vein-streaked cheeks, his misery

screwed tightly into a Mason jar. One Thanksgiving

morning he let me touch his big red cock. There were

no words, no invitation, just an awkward moment,

he with his sunglasses, me with enough curiosity

to kill my sister’s cat. It was over before it started.

As it should have been. And an hour later he passed me

the platter of turkey and asked Dark meat or white?

He walked me to his truck, Aunt Sarah, sitting

in the front seat crying like a baby. Say good-bye

to me she said. The river turned to mud after that.


JOHN DORROH may have taught high school science for a few decades. Whether he did is still being discussed. Five of his poems have been nominated for Best of the Net. Others have appeared in over 100 journals, including Feral, River Heron, North Dakota Quarterly, and Selcouth Station. Once he won a regional poetry contest and received enough money for a sushi dinner for two. He had two chapbooks published in 2022.

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