Seed catalogs were some of Hurley’s favorite reading. He kept a tattered stack on his bedside nightstand. The mysteries of Frank and Joe Hardy could hardly compete with the juice of an heirloom tomato variety he had to imagine based on no more than a mouth-watering sentence of catalog description. Hurley had planted enough gardens to know planning was the best part. Deer, rabbits, weeds and weather always did a number on his dreams.


Brian Beatty is the author of five poetry collections: Magpies and Crows; Borrowed Trouble; Dust and Stars: Miniatures; Brazil, Indiana: A Folk Poem; and Coyotes I Couldn’t See. His writing has appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, Conduit, CutBank, Evergreen Review, Exquisite Corpse, Gigantic, Gulf Coast, Hobart, McSweeney’s, The Missouri Review, Monkeybicycle, The Museum of Americana, The Quarterly, Rattle, Seventeen, and Sycamore Review.