Miriam Bird Greenberg


Fallen limbs lined the road,
the roof was dented in
but the doors still shut
so we drove across town to the abandoned school
to play knock rummy on benches
in the dark. The entire town

was black. Across the tracks
where they hadn't yet run
this year, people sat on their porches
as if nothing

had only just happened.
Rain's history pocked the ditches.
Something stumbled
into shadows
behind the library. By then I had learned

how a duck's neck goes limp
as a thick piece of rope,
or any body, really, beneath a blade.
Someone with batteries
for their radio danced

alone in their dirt yard across the street.
Nearer, children
clamored in the windblown leaves, probably catching
snakes. A fallen branch
lay across the jungle gym,

its shadows under moonlight
striped my face. I don't quite recall
but that I won
three games in a row
before the night really set in.

Miriam Bird Greenberg is a fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Her chapbook, All night in the new country, is forthcoming from Sixteen Rivers Press in late 2013.

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