The Muse

(An International Journal of Poetry)

Volume-1                                          June-2011                                                        Number-1



Fountain City, Tennessee, 1964

                                                              by Gale Acuff



At the end of her street is a dead end,

Grandmom says. I want to see it, I say.

There's nothing to see, she says. I want to

see what nothing looks like, I say. She laughs

but I don't know why. I want to hit her

for laughing at me, for laughing at all,

whatever the reason. Don't make me mad,

I think, but I don't say it because she

might not take me to the end to see what

an end that's dead can do and I'm not brave

enough to go there by myself. Maybe

when I'm a little older. I'm 7

now, not a baby, but not a grown child.


We're walking and holding hands, or she holds

mine. If she lets it go it will fall to

my side. I'd hold hers back but I'm afraid

of her, I'm not sure why, maybe because

she's so old. She can't walk very fast. I

could break free and run ahead. I'd hear her


calling me. I'd probably ignore her

and see what the dead end looks like all by

myself. I'd be a man then. Like she is.