His first Hallow’s Eve,
I carved a pig in
honor of our farming ways. Then
kept it lit for days, hoping to
drive every last evil spirit away
from this house, or my heart.
the shivering child in big black boots, the
pale pink moon
as it anchors itself to the far
horizon, anticipating the harvest,
the foliage of autumn falling on amber fields
to be baled in the baleage
while cows chew cud along the cold hills
one day soon, we’ll
eat the twisted furls of ferns,
celebrate our living in smoke spirals,
dance in fibonacci sequence, and
soothe our sore bodies in
cold creek water.
Spring brings rains,
body for what’s to
come, come summertime.
Summer comes with
leafy greens and
lean meats to build
strength; you soak up
sun, and work and work and work.
Autumn comes too soon, a
day late and you miss the
color change. Harvest saved:
you eat and eat of squash and
meat, build fat, learn to
relax, at last.
Winter begins quickly, with
shivers and sighs and the
wait for warmer days. The
sun hits low in the sky, and
you wonder if you will ever
Fire at the edges of my nipples, and you
walk into the room like
banjos playing soft in the woods, to a Yankee.
Terrified of shadows because death is
always hidden at the corners of them, shift my eyes and
swear something moved at the edge of my vision
We twist words into yarn, spin it with abandon,
knit ourselves shawls and sweaters and blankets to
keep out the cold,
pleads and begs like an old
beagle, whines and howls and
melts at the doorstep in defeat.
Embers grow under my feet, I
watch the full moon creep across the
sky, empty of stars,
wait out the loneliness and
clench my fist around
one last piece of coal.
Our cabin cabaret, with moon
dances on pallets that bloom.
Outside, through gaps in cabin logs,
we hear twangs from strange bull frogs,
listen to sweet spring peepers
call to mate, imagine they speak.
Raise our cries up, our lies up, our wails in stark
contrast to the wild whispers in the dark.
The sleek thief through tall grass, her
bellyfur wet with night dew. The
moon draws in the clouds, her
yellow teeth emerge from drawn lips.
She breathes in scents,
lets them fall over her tongue like language.
reeking from a long ways off, she
soon finds the
chicken house, absent its dogs;
once inside, a sense of settling-
she might have lived here, if fate had said so-
even as she takes the hen from the lowest roost
even as the captured hen begins the death screams-
the other chickens stay silent.