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Scott T. Hutchison’s work has appeared in The Georgia Review and The Southern Review. Poems are forthcoming in Louisiana Literature, Concho River Review, Birmingham Arts Journal, Appalachian Heritage, Red Dirt Forum, and Tar River Poetry. A new book of poems entitled "Moonshine Narratives" is slated for a January 2019 release with Main Street Rag Publishing.
Sharing Something
By Scott Hutchison

Because it was blazing--me and the Preacher toe-dipped 
at a shady remote spot on the creek, shoes dropped 
drearily somewhere behind us, pants rolled up 
talking 'bout trouble, sad trouble, trouble everywhere.
He professed to being worried about my misguided
criminal leanings and his haggard face trembled, terrified
of his own shaken despair. He looked as if the ancient-stoned mountain 
that tumbled down on me years ago now had designs 
on grabbing more ownership and landsliding into him. 
And what rock could I lift up and off of him
or me--maybe a shale chip, something I could skip 
on the surface of that creek? Trying to toss away
the grit of truck payment, rent, medicine cabinet full of lies 
to a locust swarm of pain? Stalled lawn mower,
the ceiling stain of roof leak, family adrift or falling
into expensive holes to visit on weekends or
pray over, my own need to blacken coughing lungs and wince 
at the throat burn of bad whiskey? Preacher wrung his hands over 
forty other days and nights and damned souls swimming 
that dark and insistent rainfall finding its way downhill, 
dabbed his eyes thinking about shortcomings 
to heal his suffering flock with the Word. We were bitter 
as scorched moonshine, and that's when somebody's 
black lab wondrously appeared, crushing through the water full tilt,
racing up that little creek bed like a full pig roast 
had been promised to her and her alone, busting ass
around the bend and out of sight. Then that coal-colored torpedo
came bounding back, a thoroughbred in all-out Triple Crown, 
splashing us in a four-legged switch-back and 
blasting 'round that bend again before churning toward us 
with reckless baptism two more times until miraculously 
the romping disappeared--leaving the two of us all quiet
and jaw dropped and soaking wet. Sunlight 
dappled through the woods. Somewhere close 
a woodpecker rattled his head into old, soft wood, and drifting 
all around us: dandelion fluff partnered with pussywillow dancers,
waltzing on a light breeze. A mutual nod wordlessly decided
it must be time. Lifted up off the bank, nothing 
but soft sand and a cool kiss swirling all around us. 
We said amen and moved on, barefoot splishing 
down the creek toward home. We knew full and well 
what joy looked like. We knew trouble wasn't here.