When Bad Jamie was Jamie
and Clarence was just one Clarence,
they would pack sandwiches,
mason jars of milk, mickey mouse
fishing poles, and a snuff can of worms
to fish off Granny’s bridge.
Sometimes Clarence would tamp down the briars
before Jamie walked up on them.
Sometimes he let them whip up behind him
and cut little threads in Jamie’s arms.
Sometimes an owl would call out
in the dark afternoon of the woods.
Sometimes the boys turned out their pockets,
but sometimes they forgot.
Clarence had stories about how rich
the two of them would get when they were older
or about how ghosts were going to rise up
out of the pasture soon and haunt Jamie so hard.
It just depended on the way light
filtered through the leaves and hit the water
of the little creek below Granny’s bridge.