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THE DAY AFTER A GIRL SPROUTED IN THE FLOWERBED by Kathleen McGookey

Mother  yanked her out.  I  filled my watering can with  milk.
In  the  hollow,  we  could   barely  see my  bedroom’s  yellow
eye.   I  patted  dirt  over  her  bloody  roots and stood her up
again.  When I stroked her cheek, she turned toward me and
opened  her  mouth.  And when she sang,  she  sang  about a
sparrow  and  a  leaf.   And  when  she  yawned,  I  saw  baby
teeth.   Would  she  grow?   Would  she  live?   She  needed  a
collar  of  feathers,  a  pillow  of  violets. A  birchbark  suit.  A
firefly lantern outside a small house  made of stones polished
in  the  creek.    Mother’s   shadow  opened  my   window  and
called.   We  didn’t  have long.   The  tree  frogs’  silver  chorus
rose  in  waves as  I ran  back  to  my  house.  I could still hear
the  girl’s  faint  sparrow  song.   Maybe  she  was  calling   me.

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About Kathleen McGookey

Kathleen McGookey
Kathleen McGookey’s prose poems and translations have appeared in many journals and anthologies including The Antioch Review, Boston Review, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Epoch, Field, Indiana Review, The Laurel Review, Ploughshares, The Prose Poem:  An International Journal, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, Seneca Review, West Branch, and Willow Springs.  She is the author of Whatever Shines (White Pine Press), October Again (Burnside Review Press), and Mended (Kattywompus Press), and the translator of We’ll See (Parlor Press), a book of prose poems by contemporary French poet Georges Godeau.  Her book Stay is forthcoming from Press 53 in fall 2015; her book At the Zoo is forthcoming from White Pine Press in spring 2017.  She has received grants from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and the Arts Fund of Kalamazoo County, and in 2014, she received a grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, which supports artists who are parents.