Sean Patrick Hill is a freelance writer, naturalist, and teacher living in Portland, Oregon. He earned his MA in Writing from Portland State
University, where he won the Burnham Graduate Award. He received a grant from Regional Arts and Culture Council and residencies from
Montana Artists Refuge, Fishtrap, and the Oregon State University Trillium Project. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Exquisite
Corpse, elimae, Alba, diode, In Posse Review, RealPoetik, Willow Springs, Unlikely 2.0, and Quarter After Eight. theimaginedfield.blogspot.com
Sean Patrick Hill
Down in the Flood
My father keeps his own small house
with a phone he rarely touches.
When I tell him I want to come home
he says, What do you think you'll find here
after all these years.
One summer, out on the mudflats,
I unearthed a parking meter
the flood dragged twenty miles.
No matter how I shook it,
its face registered nothing
but a thin red flag -- violation.
My mother says, Too much like your father.
I don't know what you expect.
Let me put it this way:
I always wondered what else got buried.
Call Before You Dig
warns the square squat grey-green electrical box,
for there are power lines underground.
The man walking alone beside the road
can hardly believe it.
Dressed entirely in brown,
he resembles any other clod.
The horses in the dead grass,
their blonde manes blown in a wind
so warm he cannot think
what it has to cry about,
they are the most beautiful women he's ever seen.
He thinks most everything mirrors
the same dull tones,
the unemployed hay rake,
the rusted oil rig trailer, the word
Flammable flaking away,
yet everything seems so unbelievably satisfied,
like retired men fishing.
Only he and the osprey are still hungry.
And black cattle loose on the road groan
trying to find themselves
a hole in the stiff wire fence.