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.
- Published in Issue 8