'Rear View #1'
photo by Samantha Malay, on the way to Colville, Washington, 1990

Rimrock Ranch
by Samantha Malay
published in Sheila-Na-Gig, volume 1.4, Summer 2017
Volume 1.4, Summer 2017 — The Poets

My sister and I squint at the sun
hair clasped to our foreheads with metal barrettes
skirts pieced from old jeans for the first day of school.

We saw clothes in the underbrush flattened by rain
a car door open in the middle of the street
an earring lost down the drain in the sink.

The apartment flooded from kitchen to bathroom
so we laid a boardwalk of two-by-four lumber
but talk of a cake and our lack of ingredients
left us unsettled the rest of the day.

With our backs to the baseboards
we can listen for crickets
and keep our doubts hidden
where they feel like dissent.

Picture our mailbox covered in snow
and boots near the stove to dry overnight.

The flaw in our plans
was faith in our bond
and the trouble behind us
troubles us now.

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