george bishop

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I’ve been waiting for the scent of wild
honeysuckle to fill the air for over an hour,
long enough for a pool of wax to form
in the center of the candle. I’m beginning
to feel like the flame, working my way
down the wick in search of something
to change my mood, hoping the image
on the glass will invite me in—a vine
weaving through a farmer’s rusted fence,

then deep into a harvest night, his wife
barely enduring the hours alone. Later,
still no scent. No farmer. No fence.
Just me, a mood and a dollar’s worth
of dim light. It seems fair. The farmer’s
wife’s still around, honeysuckle somewhere.
She leaning out a window, taking a deep
breath while I dream the wax hard, curl
the wick, let the smoke lead me away.

Last Courthouse Hanging
for Eddie Broom, January 1912

It was time
for things to fall.
Early October.
Halloween
had begun to
take off its mask,
knock on some doors.
The usual answers.
Agreement in great numbers—
scary, something headless
in us all, our faith in hoods
rising from a few
graves. The stairs
are still there,
the courthouse
a landmark. No more
decisions. Sometimes
it only takes one.
A cold snap
and a Christmas
pageant appears
on the lawn where
town folk watched
Eddie hang.
Familiar music.
Better at night.

George Bishop’s latest work appears in New Plains Review & Lunch Ticket. New work will be included in Naugatuck River Review and The Penwood Review. Bishop is the author of four chapbooks, most recently “Old Machinery” from Aldrich Publishing. His full length collection, “Expecting Delays” will be released by FutureCycle Press in 2013. He attended Rutgers University and now lives and writes in Kissimmee, Florida.