It wasn’t bread they placed in her mouth that night, not garlands wound around her lavender wrists. Jelly on the temples, thus anointed. The vein is a warm stream of not-knowing, dark heads nodding along the banks. From an ochre sky, coarse thunder, the orderly clearing his throat.
She sits in the back yard halfway between the mountains and the sea among fallen pecans and toy airplane parts, gripping the arms of the chair. August first, give or take, milkweed blooms, then aster. Her children run toward her, a million blades of grass between them.
Three miles or more she walks clear to Kresge’s to get the thread she needs—the brighter the better— unraveled at intervals along the road home, wooden spools marking the way. Love is dry and death nearby, a wren sings out from her little golden bowl.
Stephen Knauth | Frederica >> Contents | Mudlark No. 45 (2012)