Salt Creek, Missouri
BY ANNE BARNGROVER
Sometimes a ghost is not a ghost
but a woman who hates me a thousand
miles eastward. There is nothing
I can do here but palm the weight
of hailstones, wear the green rain
as a veil. Two hens named for country
stars attack a hen named for a queen.
There is no one I can ever be
to her than the brat her husband loved
first. Trees wring bare hands: winter.
Dog-tooth violets flirt with soft earth:
nearly. I once had a plan to forget him.
How futile our backstory, how
precious her grudge. Today, I drive out
to the field with five white horses
just to make sure they’re all still there.