Photography © Glenn Bowie


Fair Trade


Farm boys rarely have time
to get into trouble. Unless the
daddy’s out of town on some God-
forsaken mission trip in Honduras?
(Don’t those mother fuckers know how
to plant seeds yet? Grow corn. It’s the
universal donor.)


Uncle Jessie could do it and so
could his wife and all five of the kids.
They could make smoke form — tiny plumes
of gray smoke — from the sides of small twigs
and then witness a significant fire hot enough
to cook bacon and eggs in a black skillet.


There was no Internet and Utube,
just the memories, raw and useful, the
way it used to be before the New Standards.
Dry twigs and leaves in a small pile. Two
larger, firm sticks to get the party started.
He could hear his Cousin Gerald’s summary:
“It’s all about the friction.”


Small flames the size of a cat’s tongue
can get out of hand very quickly. One musn’t
panic. Hay bales are concentrated fuel,
willing to do something besides sit there
waiting to be ingested by a hungry cow.

Before the Volunteer Fire Department
arrived, the barn was all but a blackened
skeleton of wooden legs. Time to think,
to pack a large bag for Honduras. It would be a
fairly even trade.


Whether John Dorroh actually taught any high school science is still being discussed. He did manage to show up every morning with three lesson plans and a thermos of robust Colombian. His poetry has appeared in Dime Show Review, Feral, North Dakota Quarterly, Blue Moon Literary & Arts Review, and many others. He also writes short fiction and the ocasional rant.

Glenn Bowie is a published poet, lyricist and photographer from the Boston area. He also owns and operates an elevator company that supplies custom-built elevators for clients from New England to Hollywood. Author of two poetry and photograph collections (Under the Weight of Whispers and Into the Thorns and Honey) on Big Table Publishing, he donates all profits from his books to various charities for the homeless and local animal shelters.