Ryan Mattern

The Wind in Stanzas

He came to town and stomped the dust from his boots in our entryways and blushed when our daughters knelt to clean them. He urged us all medicine from vials. Trees matured from a twisted cap. Their roots took home in the crooks of sifted rabbit holes. He shaped the wheel from plowing squares and wore a halo of blurring mosquitoes. He measured the wind in stanzas and sang out in light from the fields. When it was time, he packed our secrets in a suitcase and walked to the edge of the village. His distance came at a price of haze, a man at odds with the sun.

Ryan Mattern holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, San Bernardino and M.A. in English from the University of California, Davis. He is the recipient of the Felix Valdez Award for Short Fiction. His work has been published in Ghost Town, THE2NDHAND, Poetry Quarterly, and The Red Wheelbarrow, among others. He currently serves in the United States Army.