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Fly Away

By William Woolfitt

In Oklahoma, Albert Brumley was picking bolls in the cotton patch, singing to himself while he picked, rearranging parts of "The Prisoner’s Song," changing it around, squinting when he sneaked a look at the mean red sun, too bright and hot for mid-morning, his face sweaty, his overalls damp, his body damp, his hands sore, could he have another life, could dreams take him there, could blue clouds, could a whirlwind, his father a sharecropper, neighbors bringing him down to size, neighbors saying try your hand at coal, get you a job in the strip pits at Rock Island, but he was listening to the notes in his head, to the new sounds, to the ragged wind, he straightened up and called out, when the shadows grow, a bit of new song, unformed and crude.

William Woolfitt is the author of three poetry collections: Beauty Strip (Texas Review Press, 2014), Charles of the Desert (Paraclete Press, 2016), and Spring Up Everlasting (Mercer University Press, 2020).

Photo by Julie Dixon.


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