Hayden loved to climb to the summit on one of the barren hills flanking the river, & stand there while the wind blew by R.J. Lambert


syllables & sighs. Oh,
the sounds around us
were just words (a warren
of warnings) & flowed like argot.

My grandma was said to say,
“a hitch in my giddy-up,”
conveying many things
(a love of horseback) (life

is a rough ride). Despite all
we were led to believe
we could neither lead the horse
nor make it drink.

Oh, the river bends but (Oh)
it rarely breaks so
(“Hell or high water”)
let’s go in & do our work.


R.J. Lambert was a James A. Michener Writing Fellow at UT Austin, where he co-founded and served as managing editor of the journal Bat City Review. He was a finalist for the Gold Line Press chapbook competition, and his poems have appeared in the journals Copper Nickel, Harpur Palate, Río Grande Review, and Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review.