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Camping in the Drought

June 12, 2008

That summer at the turkey farm,
the Maine woods tinder dry,
dust kicked up around our tent
in the unrelenting heat.

Each morning we walked
down to the lake, following
the daily retreat of water
from the shore of builder’s sand,
the wet pulling back like lips
from gums, gums from teeth.

And we walked into it,
further and further
those ten long days,
feet fighting slimy weeds,
torsos sinking in a lake
so shallow with its own decay
our bodies stank.

That summer at the turkey farm
we did not touch each other,
because of the heat, the dust,
the turkeys’ thirsty gobbling
through the dark.

by Penny Harter

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