If You and I Said Fuck It, and Bought the Ranch in Montana ||| Booth

I’d have hands that could set bone
or arc a two-bit axe.

I’d study how gravity pulls sugar through apple,
what it means to straighten a river,

to keep a clutch of cedar waxwings
coming back.

You’d have a mountain ridge rain-shadow,
a distortion in your voice like trout under creek water;

your hands would untangle fishing nets,
or our child’s wet hair. You’d listen to how stillness

breaks in front of an avalanche,
the way elk disappear into serviceberry,

what silences surround an instarring gypsy moth.


H.K. Hummel is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and founding editor of Blood Orange Review. She has published two chapbooks, Boytreebird (Finishing Line Press, 2013) and Handmade Boats (Whale Sound, 2010). Short-form Creative Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology will be published by Bloomsbury Press in 2018. Her poems have recently appeared in Iron Horse Literary Review, The Fourth River, and Forgotten Women: A Tribute in Poetry (Grayson Books, 2017). Visit her website at www.hkhummel.com.

If You and I Said Fuck It, and Bought the Ranch in Montana” originally appeared in Booth on November 13, 2015