by Corrie Lynn White

Remember standing knee-deep in saw dust.
Four walls of crickets. Wood holding tight to rain.
By the lumber pile: the corn crib, broken toilet, gas tank,
tiller. Lucille gets her cheek caught by her brother’s fishing
rod. He casted and hooked her jaw. We all swat at sweat
bees. Pears fall to the ground. Thomas builds a wood-shop,
cuts trees into kitchen cabinets. His daughters sand the edges
of doors. Their thumbs know the feel.

The hound wanders off. How did it come to this?
Hoyle turns his compost pile, curses the pests that eat
his beef-steaks. In cursive, Mitzi writes her cards, cries
over the smell of her dead mother’s soap. She sets the table
with silver and unlit candles. The ways we were taught—
cut the stemmed end of the potato and plant it again.
Stop the car for a harvest moon. Fill the plaster bucket
with water and fill the pig’s bowl. Give her all the scraps.
She’ll gnaw away at where she lives. Make a hole
in the wire for her snout to fit through.

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