Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

300 Feet Below Cardwell Mountain

J. A. Parker

The last Cub Scout clicks
his flashlight off; the rest leave
theirs alone at last;
our young guide with blonde heidi
pigtails uses what remains
of her husky voice
to point out that deep in a
cave such as we’re in
is one of two places where
complete darkness can be found.
Quietly, after
obediently waving
my hand in front of
my face, I concede her point.
What application is there
for such a fact, I
think. She says the other place
where darkness is found
is two miles deep in water,
at which point you would implode,
and that seems to me
like a useful tip—something
to avoid. Still, I
wonder which Higgenbotham
appreciated more, when
dropping his torch, he
spent three days hoping his friends
would come for him,
see his gear at the cave mouth,
and follow the inviting
breeze; the completeness
and singularity of
the darkness or the
chance and proximity of
death down near his fallen torch.


John A. Parker is an unpublished writer of literary short stories, personal essays, and poetry. He and his family live in the Nashville, Tennessee, area, having moved there from New Orleans in August 2007.


© J. A. Parker

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2008