The Maynard
Spring 2016

Daniel Barnum


past a certain point, you still will lose him.
you see the whole way round the lake ever
since you ran it through, though you’ll never catch
the conversation, know his name, or where

this was. blond beach ringing gray waves: that day
he showed you how to strip bark by your eye
teeth. now you taste birch trees on sight. you wonder
how your mothers knew each other, when

and why they stopped. you think about the boy
a lot and can’t seem to crack his cowlick.
class photographs beam gloss bright after decades
between black brackets, but his face doesn’t

show up in your peers’ yearly crop of ears—
too-big and bowlcuts. beyond the frame, behind
the tiers by height and chalkboard repoussoir,
the old landscape remains. the precise light

of late march skims the water top like a skipping
rock racing toward sand. he’s there again,
huddled beside a puddle, cupping
tadpoles with your ghost in his muddy hands.