Wishes on an August Evening at Milford by Kelly W. Johnston

Heavy heat of the day escapes

on stiff winds across the lake.

Wish-laden catfish lines, like sirens,

draw me away from campfire,

wine, and your whispers.


You stand ashore alone,

lantern held high as I push off.

While rowing, you fade

to a lighthouse on a bleak coast.


My flashlight finally finds

a tenuous streak of limp line.

Grasping for dreams,

line trembles, tightens

and the lake is fighting back,

bouncing the bow of the boat,

spraying my face with froth.

Dark, churning depths stretch

line toward nightmare.


Until the catfish is netted.

A wet grin crosses my face

as I remember your light

beckoning my return.

~ Kelly W. Johnston

Thomas Reynolds is an associate English professor at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in various print and online journals, including New Delta Review, Alabama Literary Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, Sport Literate, The MacGuffin, Flint Hills Review, and Prairie Poetry. Woodley Press of Washburn University published his poetry collection Ghost Town Almanac in 2008. His chapbook The Kansas Hermit Poems was published in 2013. His work has received two Pushcart Prize nominations.


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