Two Poems by Chad Frame

Shepard

There on the hill—
a scarecrow—no—

a boy, tear-tracks
through blood and grime,

slumped, arms raised, tied
to a buck rail,

and left to watch
over his flock.

When I learn this,
I’m just fifteen,

a sophomore,
thinking maybe

I could just tell
someone, a friend,

what I’m feeling,
grow bold enough

to act on it.
What is a kiss?

the cold pistol
our attraction

has whipped us with.
Matthew, I wish

I could show you
what you’ve achieved,

a boy, tear-tracks
through blood and grime.

*

Dungeons &

two eighth grade outcasts & a lunch table
& telling jokes & brandishing a Cheeto
like a wizened staff to cheer you up
when that girl from Algebra & you don’t work out
& I shout Gandalf the Orange! & you snort Pepsi
like flames & your cheeks dimple & you shake
sleek hair from your brown eyes & we toss dice
& I can’t admit it’s not an elf
& not a wizard I’m pretending to be
& I love you & I’m sorry & for me
it’s never been a game about dragons.

*

Chad Frame’s work appears in Rattle, Pedestal, Rust+Moth, Barrelhouse, and elsewhere, as well as on iTunes from the Library of Congress. He is Director of the Montgomery County Poet Laureate Program and Poet Laureate Emeritus of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Poetry Editor of Ovunque Siamo, a founding member of the No River Twice poetry improv/performance troupe, and founder/director of the Caesura Poetry Festival and Retreat. His collection, Little Black Book, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.

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