The Little One Need Not Come

This is the part of the fight in which our effort to stop fighting is subverted by the need to have our injuries acknowledged. We do not stop at the hawthorn.

The field has been mowed to golden stubble. Crows strut the windrows—shooting-gallery silhouettes harvesting the bodies of voles and snakes caught in the harrow’s path. It smells like September. Hay cider sun rot.

This is the part of the fight in which we wait for the other to say something.

I heard on the radio that tonight in Virginia a woman will be put to death. I’m not sure why I think of her now. Because they have mowed. Because of the crows.

I’m wearing my father’s shirt and my mother’s skirt. Somebody’s sweater, moth holes in the pockets. Other people’s clothes. Remember. Make do. Put together. Moth holes moth wings mothballs. Closet in the eaves. Chairs whose seats need recaning. Recanting. Can’t.

We’ve already had the long difficult part of the fight that is the beginning. The first and second attempts to make peace.

If we meet someone on our way, the effort to be neighborly will bring us together in the house of our relationship. The house of our relationship is a fort. Blanket fort. Tree fort. Sometimes one of us changes the secret password without telling the other.

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