This Summer’s Boys (after Columbine)

In the bright blue of this town pool, they dive
and howl, their sharp shoulder blades are clipped
angel wings, their drenched neon trunks, their rail-thin
bones. Here at summer’s height, they seek the deeper
end where nothing matters but the gasps their dives
attract, one’s graceful arc, the other’s clumsy flop.

For now they are content to clown and tumble,
these days of sunlight, brown parched grass.
Who knows if someday, one of them is shunned,
strange music sung in his dark room; who knows
if one of them will take the long bright gun or blade,
hold it close to his once-summer skin, and hunt that
boy who dove with him, surprise his skinny soul.


Catherine Harnett is a poet and fiction author from Fairfax, Virginia. Her poetry collections, Still Life and Evidence were published by WWPH. Catherine’s poetry has appeared in numerous magazines, most recently: Gargoyle, 100 Words, Six Sentences, Danse Macabre, upstreet 5, and AlimentumHer fiction appeared in the Hudson Review, Assisi, and Matchbook. The short story “Her Gorgeous Grief,” published by the Hudson Review, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and is included in Writes of Passage, an anthology of coming-of-age stories. Catherine attended Marymount College of Fordham University, Georgetown University (MA), and worked in various positions in the federal government before retiring after 31 years.