The Ghosts of Fisherman Wade
by Kyle Brandon Lee

Since retiring all those years ago,
Wade took his rifle or pole to the water
where nature and bounty played.
Before the drilling and mining, as king of the hunt and the rod he reigned.
Then came smoke and blight.
No life in the lake
nor forest nor glade.
Such were the ghosts of Fisherman Wade.

Come the turn of the leaves he’d call the town
out to prepare for another year’s fair and
Coal County Autumn Parade.
There’d be much dancing and singing,
to old songs the miners and drillers swayed.
Then a step too far,
blood spilled on the floor,
and trust now betrayed.
Such were the ghosts of Fisherman Wade.

Then one summer day, down shaft forty-one,
an accident set loose what laid beneath town.
None saw their canaries fade.
Who did not go quiet to bliss,
panicked in the streets till they passed away
All but old poor Wade,
who fished at the lake,
not far from the glade.

Such are the ghosts of Fisherman Wade.

Kyle Brandon Lee is a Texas born and raised writer of prose, poetry and plays. He’s had short stories published in Mirror Dance, Fiction on the Web and Asymmetry, as well as in Issue 2 of Backchannels.