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Stick in the mud 

I threw a stick

more like

a fat rounded

hunk of wood

that was weathered

grey like a piece 

of Florida clay

heavy

dense

dry

if I put it in a fire it would burn forever

I held it in my fat fingers

gripping

drawing strength

standing on the edge of the bay

the water had been sucked out

the moon's belly filled with crystalline sea

miles of clean mud lay at my toes

I heaved the stick

it soared through the air,

for a moment

proud

thankful

to be above the earth again

remembering

when it stretched 

from its great trunk

to find food

surrounded by brothers

its back scratched by squirrels

it smiled at me on the bank 

gracious

for the short life

and then dived like a shot 

duck

and landed

with a thick

splat

I skipped away

with a

promise

— Matt Bryant

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Matt Bryant

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