When I learned to tie my shoes
the knot would awake and stretch
its shoestring arms.
I would run, chance a trip, crush
the laces’ aglet ends into a spider web.
As a scout learn
clove hitch, bowline, sheep bend,
and square: knots fingers have to scrub
to unravel. Now
in the mind’s stomach pit, knots
are dull knives that pry on the past, unable
to puncture now.
The gallows future an empty noose.
Doug Van Hooser has had poetry appear in Chariton Review, Split Rock Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, and Poetry Quarterly among other publications. His fiction can be found in Red Earth Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Bending Genres Journal. Doug’s play, “Here Ye, Hear Ye,” will be performed this summer (2019) at McKaw Theatre in Chicago.