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.
away from bed wetting and beatings,
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.