Back to Issue Eleven.

Salt Creek, Missouri



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.


Anne Barngrover is author of Yell Hound Blues (Shipwreckt Books, 2013) and co-author with Avni Vyas of the chapbook Candy in Our Brains (CutBank, 2014). Her poems have appeared in Mid-American Review, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, and others. She earned her M.F.A at Florida State University and is currently a Ph.D. student in Poetry at University of Missouri.