• Kate Gaskin

Pennies


Pennies

That summer was a man

gathering fury like weather

was a sweaty ring

on the railing was a lake

green with runoff

was a nest of water

moccasins writhing

down a river was white

in the mouth

fat in the head was long

in the snout with heat-sensing

pits that summer

when we found blood

in the yard as if someone

dragged from the door

a mating ball of snakes

in the yucca a headless

hen strung up from the oak

behind your father’s house

where all that summer

we porch-sat and wished

on empties that glittered

the ditch across the street

as if they were pennies in a well.

Kate Gaskin's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Cimarron Review, Drunken Boat, Nashville Review, Guernica, Bellevue Literary Review, The Florida Review, and Whiskey Island among others. She is a recipient of a Tennessee Williams Scholarship in poetry to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the winner of The Pinch’s 2017 Literary Award in Poetry. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama.