Bio Note: I am a high school English teacher who lives in Medford, MA with my family. I'm a singer-songwriter whose records can be heard at www.maxheinegg.com and the co-founder and brewmaster of Medford Brewing Company. My work has appeared in 32 Poems, The Cortland Review, and Thrush, among others.
Driving the Tigress
Usually, the young scope as part of an ambush, mom somewhere nearby. They stride at the game, assessing the stands, looking like they're not gauging if they are seen—the opposite of hunting, more a feeling out of open spaces. Tonight, she's after a field boy, so she lies in wait. A what? A boy who seizes the field at recess. Apparently popular. My wife & I don't mind. We can see her, pawing at the cookies at the kids’ table. He's all skin & bones, a decent thirteen, safely following after his mother. So, I drive her home, assuming even tigresses must learn to lose— but, in the savannah of the living room, I’m caught & dragged down by her extended claws, why didn’t I know she was about to talk to him? So, goodbye den, & back to the safari to watch from the tall grass of the kitchen. There’s a power she hasn’t decided to call on yet. I don’t want to see this. I hope he gets away.
The Pious Venture
"And what about the Iroquois, who are said to be so fierce?
What if they carry off your wife, your husband or your children?"
—Sign in the Archaeology and History Complex, Montreal
Transparent as the steps above the fort of Ville Marie, whose sign apprises us the colonists’ ships mastered the rapids to land on uncultivated shores. Our eyes descend to the sundial & fire-pit, glassed palisades—rusty triggers testament to one perspective. The dream of converting the Indigenous to Christianity. Of course, the red courage is here in the defeated statues; native austerity confirms the victors’ bravery. We walk beneath the city & the sewer’s peaceful centuries of stone smoothed by cobalt lights curling floor to ceiling. After a fugue, I find my wife by the Hurons’ one wall— our girls glance, choose the short film on De Maisonneuve, Montreal’s founder, who planted a small cross in the thaw as a promise. If God stayed the flood, he would climb the mountain behind the village, once the Iroquois’ home & hunting grounds, & there, raise a cross to the heights. The sun was sacrament when the dry trees fell, & the nails drove home His Mercy.
©2021 Max Heinegg
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