Wild Turkey

My father was one who best understood 
the shy verse of sawdust and steel.

When he did speak, after aged bourbon 
by the charred pepper glow of campfire, 

his words would bring dryness to the dark, 
the way engine-oiled machine parts are ordered 

and arranged under the tongue. I listened. More 
than he knew. I saw how his words had shapes, 

how some of them circled through the air, above the field meadows,
as turkey vultures do after a long, pleasing hunt.

George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat ReviewMoria Poetry JournalChronogram JournalAmpersand Literary ReviewThe Angle at St. John Fisher College, and 3:16 Journal. George’s blogs, essays and letters have appeared in USA TodayThe Wall Street JournalThe AtlanticHavana TimesSouth China Morning PostThe Buffalo News, and more. 

See all his poems on Tea House here.

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