by Meaghan Loraas
Say you remember, tell your father: camped out in the treehouse, eyes out
for wolves, dead chickens, bears, red
feathers when you wake up. Say you felt like a detective.
Then when you’re alone with her, in the BB gun aisle
at Walmart, look at her bare coastline clavicle and tell her how you felt
when Pa shot Travis, the neighbor man’s dog. Say you remember.
Say you love the farm, its gated garden and Pa’s whittled little men
made to look like your father and your future husband and your brother,
lost overseas until he wasn’t. Say you miss them all.
Then when you’re in her bed, tell her how Pa lost most of his hand
and she’ll tell you how her pa lost his. What are the odds? What is the lure
of Indian corn stuck in a combine? Say you love life’s bright splinters.
Say you love the farm, its water in rivers, and splintered wood you split for Pa
because he just can’t do it anymore, not in this health and he’s right.
Say to yourself: you won’t mind if she never, ever knows him.
Then when you’re home, out but river-bordered—forget she exists for a while.
Look for yourself in your father’s eyes instead of rambling landlines.
Say you love the farm.
Meaghan Loraas is a writer from Auburn, Alabama. Meaghan is a current second year MFA student in the Creative Writing Program (Fiction) at Texas State University San Marcos and is the PR Manager for Front Porch Journal.