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He looks whole
but half his guts
have been washed away
and a blow to the head
has knocked out
every other year
leaving him only
memory of the odd half
the hard singe
of the boat floor
the sudden thwack

His future appears all flat
he sees out with one eye only.
The other looks back
the wrong way
swimming upstream
to a source that isn’t there
in the wrong river
alien to his own life.
He’s been released
but the hook went too deep
when his twin let him go.


Sheila Hassell Hughes is a teacher-scholar-writer at the University of Dayton. She has published poems in literary magazines and in conjunction with academic articles for journals in multiple disciplines. Originally from British Columbia, she now lives in academic exile in Southwestern Ohio with her family and cats.

© 2012, Sheila Hassell Hughes

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