The Maynard
Spring 2015

Curtis LeBlanc

In American English

I learned to drink in basements, and outside in the summer.

As boys, we slept in backyard tents, dreaming in American English.


Aphids dried beneath the paint we laid at Devin’s farmhouse in Arundel.

Nodding as we washed our hands, his father thanked us in American English.


Past the wheat pool is a trestle bridge. On either side, the water runs.

There are times the river holds so still, you could write it in American English.


Rows of poplars wait for spring. In this, they are my better.

Beside them, in her father’s truck, we idled in American English.


Her lengths of hair however long, in bobby pins, bobby pins,

dismantled me with ease and calm. I salivate in American English.


The thinnest branches, thick with leaves, could not bear the early snowfall.

Like me, they bent and broke, then hung suspended in American English.


Will no one sit across from me? To share, at least, a silent thought.

Within me there is something young, a hunger in American English.


Here I call you each by name, and hope you’ll take me back.

We are prairie roses, wild. Our parents named us in American English.