Standing on a deck over the Elk River – Victoria Luing

By flourishing trees, a hidden deck
sits waiting for company.
Protruding from a minor hillside, it hangs over
the murky waters of the Elk River.
It’s strangled by Bittersweet Nightshade vines
that mysteriously have no end,
like thoughts before sleep.
The floor boards, rough and worn, creek with the simplest touch.

A wild raspberry bush,
with hundreds of tiny red beads,
burst with jaw-tightening flavor.
A young doe across the river
stands from her resting spot – stretches.
A soft noise escapes her mouth,
the release of air from a pressurized can as it relaxes.
The crepuscular rays fight their way through
the canopies as the ants push their bodies from the dirt.
Dew rises from the ground
like yeasty dough waiting for the oven.
A bald eagle swoops down,
a dead fish between its talons.

A witch-like cackle interrupts the morning air;
everything freezes: a brain after too much ice cream.
A flap of its large feathered wings
and the eagle is gone.


Victoria Luing’s work has appeared in one publication before this, The Chronicle, and she has assisted in the editing of poetry submissions for The Upper Mississippi Harvest Magazine. She holds a B.A. in English Creative Writing and Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University and currently lives in Albertville, Minnesota surrounded by her bookshelves and Harry Potter collectible items.

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