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Syndic Literary Journal

Cape Flattery

Written & Narrated by Jennifer Lagier


Cape Flattery, 1969-1972

Junked cars circle unpainted shacks.

Horses wander unpaved streets,

topple trash cans.

Rats disappear beneath sagging floors.


Despite being a dry reservation,

drugs and booze are everywhere.

Drunken men beat one another, batter

demoralized women, brutalize children.


I live in a trailer house overlooking dim bay.

To the north, a Crown Zellerbach sawmill.

My windows frame uninhabited Waadah Island.

An alpha male goat paws the boat dock,

glares back at me.


In summer, tribal canoes stroke past log booms

through breakwater to open ocean.

Families play bone games or collect glass floats

along miles of pristine Cape Flattery beach.


Winter brings wind, snow, power outages.

I contemplate adultery, suicide,

drink with whoever buys,

sample every escape.


Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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