Excerpt from Little Venus, “House”

House

Ranch style homes squat
along Rural Route 4,
their view of the horizon broken
by a ten-year-old girl, not wanting to go home.
Every seven steps white line repeats
then breaks off to grey.
Plush waves of rye wheat
undulate beneath an orange sky,
pressing her down.

This is her house
once a muddy hole in the ground
holding the family’s amazement
as it sprang, Beam upon Beam
into a place to sleep and eat.
Scent of sawdust and new carpet
when they moved in.

In a few moments, she’ll
discover her mother’s body
rolling from couch to floor
as Bob Dylan sings on the stereo.
The girl’s pulse pumps her through
screen door to bring back help.
Her mother will be carried away,
hands waving, in a haze
of valium and vodka, lying
on an ambulance bed. Life saved.


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