The Tunnel at Red Creek

Hugh Martin
Horizontal photo of a black and white industrial tunnel.
Photo by Redd Angelo

Home from the year-long tour
he walked the edge of Red Creek

into the tunnel of graffiti and tried to read
the names of lovers.

Once, he’d skipped rocks here,
searched for frogs, made paths of stone

in the shallow waters
just to stand on the other side.

He remembered building dams for nothing;
tossing leaves downstream to watch them float;

hiding in the brush when cars drove by—
all those things

that put a boy through the day
when he, and it, have no end.

Hugh Martin is a veteran of the Iraq war and the author of The Stick Soldiers (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2013). He is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and will be the 2014-15 Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College. Photo: Karen Schiely.