By Rick Hill
Stan, that short kid hooked on Sci-Fi novels,
begins to inexplicably grow—first
slowly, then much faster. He suffers hells:
tall-guy japes, flood pants jokes, and raging thirst
(he can’t bend low enough to reach the school
drinking fountain). Bumps his head everywhere,
can’t squeeze in his prom tux—then constant stares,
scared mobs, paparazzi: “KIMI’S New Fool:
Star Caught Kissing Nine-Foot Boy Toy!” He escapes
to NorCal, a shack in the Sierras,
but grows twelve meters by the first snow drape--
Even Sasquatch locals run in terror.
Stan rises ten stories tall by spring. He eats
oak trees like broccoli; roams the foothills
naked all summer. Grown nine-hundred feet,
he peers down on checkerboard fields and pill-
like cars. What’s that in the distance? A mass
of dark mountain with hillocks like muscles
on a lion’s back. He hears the rustle
of what rough beast from a boring lit class . . .
Does it live, this one thing larger than he?
Stan lumbers to find out; sidesteps a lake
but crushes a dam as ant people flee.
Suddenly, those muscles really do quake--
Its mountain head turns—the Thing, all-knowing,
ravenous, slouches toward him. But then it’s
mere kitten size, for Stan is still growing:
soon he’s Everest height, then his head splits
Earth’s atmosphere—he sees stars, reaches high,
and crushes a handful that was the moon.
He steps to Mars, then Jupiter, Neptune--
galaxies swarm like electron fireflies;
the universe: like one atom of this God
who plops Stan in a highchair. “BIG BOY” is
stenciled on his bib, but he’s overawed
by that incoming spoon and airplane noise.
Rick Hill has published poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and essays in a variety of books and journals, and has won several awards for his writing. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, the Iowa Writers Workshop and the University of Louisiana, he taught creative writing and literature for over 30 years as a professor at Point Loma Nazarene University until he retired in 2018. He plays guitar and harmonica, likes wilderness backpacking, is an avid gardener and keeps one or more surfboards handy in his 1993 GMC van.