Unattended
Some fields have been stripped.
Others are waiting. Brown paper

stalks, a plastic bag tangled 
in the wire fence. Leaves

rise in eddies—creatures 
dragging across the

road. A fire sparking 
near the trees. No one 

tending it, gray smoke 
ballooning. Over my head 

black birds cross, double- 
cross the sky. A porch swing 

hanging with one chain. The mums
are freezing, the tomatoes

underripe, cut short. Wasps groggy
from declining sun. In the distance, 

Dutch barns painted with hex 
signs—rosettes, wheels. My sister 

in a wedding dress—her bare 
shoulders. Her image multiplied

in three mirrors, each time
looking younger—a girl 

with braids cushioned between 
white sheets smiling, waiting

for me, as I’d tiptoe in early 
each morning to wake her.
Copyright © 2004–2017 Memorious