Travis Truax


Travis Truax grew up in Virginia and Oklahoma and spent most of his twenties working in various national parks out west. A graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Salamander, Quarterly West, Bird’s Thumb, The Pinch, Colorado Review, and Phoebe. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

My Sister

No small-town river is the same. Some are full of only trash and trout, with no hope, no heart. While others run mad for the ocean. The charm of our river sleeps beneath its stones or lives in the summer roar of canoeing kids and small bridge-rail tears. My sister— she used to search the banks of any river she found, looking through mud and dark water for the otherside of all this. A turtle coming up for light, or the breath-bubble of some bored and brazen fish.

This poem came about while working on a bigger project centered around my younger years growing up along the Shenandoah River. It feels like an exploration of place and how the smallest moments can expand over time. Growing up, my sister loved being outside, in the mud, in the fields, digging up all sorts of critters, and with this poem I think I found a kind of nod to her funny way of exploring her little world.