around me in my dusty chore clothes. The hems
of their long coats were frayed and spinning.
They worked me over like a choir. Beckoning
“choose me, pick this, why not here?
Why not this?”
Last week during the Sanctus my arms
rose on instinct, a ghosted gunrise
on a rooster pheasant.
Like some screwball charismatic, but
I heard the wingbeats. My life list
of birds grows daily.
But it isn’t a secret anymore. Dun quails whisper
“make some trouble over me. I am
worthy of sacrifice.”
My head is clean. My feet and hands are washed.
I have been here many times and for many times
this will come after.
Bio: Scott McCloud teaches, farms and writes near Walton, Kansas. His chapbook, Tallgrass Prairie Burn Cycle (2011 Full Metal Faith Press) features prairie, farming, sexuality and prayer as intimates. Market gardens, birding, hunting and fishing are touchstones and a childhood of churchly work ruptures his craft. He blogs at http://originalface.tumblr.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest Editor Diane Wahto has an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University. Her poem, “Someone Is Always Watching,” won the American Academy of Poets award. Recently, her poems “The Conspiracy of Coffee” and “After the Storm” were published in Active Aging. She, her husband, and two dogs live in Wichita, Kansas. email@example.com