by William Skink

it’s the end of the night
and the kid in the backyard
is digging in his heels

the stern voice doesn’t work
the countdown doesn’t work
he goes dead wood on me,
won’t budge—

then I remember my wife’s use
of mountain lion
when he won’t progress on a trail

mosquito, I say
and he scrambles up,
runs inside

this is how they run the world,
I think

before taking my tired bones
to bed

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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  1. Rob Kailey says:

    ~like~ It’s a strangeness, but I remember my brother and I crawling out our basement bedroom windows to help the neighbor kids in back dig an infantry tunnel between their yard and ours … but never on a full moon.

  2. Nameless Range says:

    When my daughter was younger and she would cry and I couldn’t get her to stop, I would open my eyes really wide and warn her,

    “Sshhhhh! You sound like a wounded cottontail and there’s Coyotes out here!”
    She would instantly stop crying and look out the window. No reasoning or consoling would help her stop crying, but the fear of a coyote was an instant fix.

    Probably not the most ethical action but as any parent knows, parenting is sometimes survival-whether it be for the parent or the child.

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