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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 4: July 2020
Prose Poem: 188 words
By Daryl Scroggins

Nesting Patterns


On bluffs above ocean surf, binoculars make rounds of a curved world and its tides. Before him, blues and browns. White crests of waves. The nests on rocks below are tangled circles of spike and fluff. He pushes thoughts of war away. Beach landings. Figures struggling forward only a few steps before falling. He reminds himself to focus on birds. But to wait for something to see is not not to see. The sea arriving, like a sword maker’s hammer.

Bowls of jumbled pebbles and driftwood shards—or are the nests many birds seen through time, in one place? Small tornadoes of flight-shadows. Soon new levels will wash a world away.

He realizes he has been making journal notes while not looking at the page, so sentences ride on top of sentences. A smile comes, and without thinking he turns to speak to her of tagging.

waves she once saw
he counts now as they slip
under breath

He dusts himself off. Heads for his car. When he sees it, parked before him on dry grass, it sparkles as if still posed on a showroom floor.

Daryl Scroggins
Issue 4, July 2020

has taught creative writing and literature at The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of North Texas, and the Writer’s Garret, in Dallas. He now lives in Marfa, Texas. He is the author of This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash novel (Ravenna Press), Winter Investments: Stories (Trilobite Press), and Prairie Shapes: A Flash Novel (winner of the 2004 Robert J. DeMott Prose Contest). His poems, short stories, and creative nonfictions have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country, including Blink Ink, Cutbank, Eastern Iowa Review, New Flash Fiction Review, Star 82 Review, and Third Wednesday, among others.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Face of the Deep, ekphrastic prose poem by Daryl Scroggins in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 3, May 2020)

Field Trips, flash fiction in KYSO Flash (Issue 12, Summer 2019)

New to School, micro-fiction in Eclectica (Jan/Feb 2018)

Two Fictions: Almost Baptized, and Against the Current in New Flash Fiction Review (Issue 10, January 2018)

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