Would I wake if I heard him
running a stick
along the outside walls,
tracing the shape
of our house, back and forth,
running for the sake
of running? Would I wake
and go over to the window
in time to see him
bolting down the pasture,
his calves thrusting
above the weeds,
dressed in another shape
of the world, running away?

Matthew Haughton has published one chapbook, "Bee-Coursing Box" (Accents Publishing). His poems have appeared or are set to appear in many journals including Appalachian Journal, Now & Then, New Southerner, and Still. Haughton lives and works in Lexington, Kentucky.

Changeling is one of many poems I’ve written after losing my older brother, John Michael, in 2007. The poem invokes the shape of our childhood home in Kentucky where (from the back windows) we could see nothing but the woods. As painful as the loss remains, there is a hint of fairy tale in the struggle to cope. There is a belief in a magic and spirituality. I suppose the idea is that he could be anywhere at any time now: a little boy running with a stick in the backyard, or a great deer bolting as I lift my eye. Something out there between a waking thought and a dream.



Copyright 2009