He would carve you a broomstick walking cane for a brown bag of Mad Dog 20-20, there under the cottonwoods behind the laundromat. We sat in chairs pulled from old curbside eviction piles.

“Why you so good with a knife?” I asked, smiling like I knew something at seventeen.

“Nobody walk anywhere anymore,” he said, “but they sho will reach for a stick look like it’s going somewhere.”

“Will you make me one like that? One with dogs and cats going round and round after each other?”

“Look to me like what you need,” he said, “ is the knife.”

Daryl Scroggins taught creative writing and literature at the University of North Texas, and now lives in Marfa, Texas. His brief prose has appeared recently in Cutbank, New Flash Fiction Review, Eastern Iowa Review, and Blink Ink.

See more of his work in issue 6.2 here and here and in Special Flash issue 50/50 here and here