The boy and girl fish from the Vitava’s bank.He holds the pole—they share a cigarette.
They work hard shortening the smoke
But their puffs are weak.
The bait’s red float bobs in a boat’s wake.
The boy passes the cigarette.
“Vypadni!” he calls to the boaters.
The boy’s father chops cords of wood
Behind a wire fence.
Maple burns warmth in their home
As his wife sautés paprika chicken
With greasy dumplings.
He stacks kindle and studies his son.
He remembers fishing the river
With Anka, his snoubenka.
And the smell of blood.
He still sees the Russian soldiers
Luring Anka down the grass bank
With Sobranie mint cigarettes.
©2012 Kirby Wright
Notes:vypadni: beat it
About the Author Kirby WrightKirby Wright was a Visiting Fellow at the 2009 International Writers Conference in Hong Kong, where he represented the Pacific Rim region of Hawaii. He was also a Visiting Writer at the 2010 Martha’s Vineyard Residency in Edgartown, Mass., and the 2011 Artist in Residence at Milkwood International, Czech Republic. He is the author of the companion novels PUNAHOU BLUES and MOLOKA’I NUI AHINA, both set in the islands.