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Line in the Sand

What he said was vast, given his limits.
At some mojave of the soul, we stopped
to gas up, and I was inclined to bolt—
wrong look, wrong answer, might raise his demons,
but what did I know, who was I to say?
He tuned Tom Harmon on the radio,
sneered and nodded like a slow woodpecker—
"Would that they had broke the mold," he chuckled
with sand in his pipes. The sun had stumbled.
His eyes turned on me—"What'll it be, rook?
Only one of us will walk away, son."
He coughed, spat. ''Are you in or are you out?
If you think you are fast enough, just once,
you might have a blind salamander's chance."

Ken McCullough

The Gettysburg Review

Winter 2012

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