William Miller, “Boy Scout Field Trip”

orange line

Boy Scout Field Trip

We walked up and around
Mt. Cheaha, a troop
in the summer rain.

I didn’t complain, didn’t mind,
found an arrowhead,
then two.

Every step we took
was one step away from
my house, the den where

my mother quoted scripture
in a loud, angry voice;
my dad drank vodka

mixed with nothing.
Down there, in the valley,
my family once lived,

Creeks who planted corn,
fished for mudcat.
My grandmother was one…

Drenched, we stopped
at the mouth of a cave
tall enough for even

the scoutmaster to walk into.
He held up a lantern,
and pointed at the twisted,

stone shapes. Some grew up,
others down from
the dark ceiling.

“This cave is old,”
he said. “These formations
older than Jesus.”

And we slept that night
in sleeping bags,
in a place blacker

than midnight,
though I felt completely safe,
hidden in the earth.


William Miller’s sixth collection of poetry, Recovering Biker, was published last fall by The Edwin Mellen Press. His poems have recently been accepted or published by The Penn Review, The Connecticut River Review, Negative Capability, Canyon Voices, and Aura.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s