September 2022

Back to Issue 12

Blind Joe’s Creek

By Peter Bakowski


Joe bent to the sound of flowing water, drank his fill.


High in the gums magpies warbled.


Maybe in the next life

Joe would have wings, safe places to perch…


Joe heard the snapping of twigs,

hoped it was kangaroos not coppers.


He remembered a prayer from the orphanage,

the softer voice of Sister Agnes

who’d check his hair for lice.


Being alone,

away from bed wetting and beatings,

was best.


Joe lay in the tall grass, listened again—

there were no troubling sounds.


A farm. He sensed there was one nearby—

he’d stepped in some cow dung

a while earlier.

Well, that was better than

stepping into a rabbit trap.