KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Prose Poem/CNF: 138 words


by Melanie Dunbar

Outside our bedroom window, an oriole and a robin are fighting. Hummingbirds refuse their fermented nectar. The crop sprayer has just pulled into the far drive, closest to the field that needs it. I need to lose myself in small tasks today. Unzipping thready roots of henbit from the top layer of soil. Following rhizomes of goldenrod as far as they will go, blistered fingers pulling out strand after strand knowing it is useless. Waiting to hear about Pete. Digging bishop’s weed and artemisia, obsessively picking fragments from the dirt. I refuse to sleep, convinced a mouse has burrowed into my pillow. That first night I felt its blackberry heart beating through the down. Another week while the cancer is being “staged.” The waiting is in my mouth, a half-formed turtle that I dreamed about last Tuesday.


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