We forgot we had chickens until we opened the door after the blizzard and found three huddled on the step, drifted over. Just then, another clucked and dashed from the living room into the snow. We didn’t know the Rose of Sharon would poison the children’s water when we planted it to mark the well. No matter the weather, our dirty orange cat perched at the picture window and disapproved. Even an apprentice angel could help us now, even a young one distracted by light switches, umbrellas, the spinning gear of egg beaters. Those sad old men in black and white suits just look down at our farmhouse, snug in its golden field, dispatch another swarm of butterflies, then fold their wings and hands, and sigh.
Kathleen McGookey is the author of Whatever Shines (White Pine Press) and October Again (Burnside Review Press), and the translator of French poet Georges Godeau’s book We’ll See (Parlor Press). Her chapbook Mended (Kattywompus Press) and her book At the Zoo (White Pine Press) are forthcoming.