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April 2018, vol 14 no 1

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Renée Owen


Woodpeckers flock to the great oak in the meadow. They zoom in for a landing, white spots on their black tail feathers like eyes watching me. Out on the meadow, a shaggy cat stalks prey. On the back porch, the stench of rodent urine wafts thick as incense from under the cabin. Half the night, the sound of something small and almost noiseless hitting the floor. Mice have discovered my crackers stashed on the top shelf.

the season of vague

The resident handyman sets a trap under the sink. That night, an odd knocking keeps me awake. The intermittent knocking continues all morning, until I head outside for relief. By evening, I finally remember to check under the sink. There he is, along the back wall. Lodged in the trap, a prisoner of war, body broken from thrashing to free himself from torture. His beady eyes upon me, I close the door. And in that wide open view of myself, a thousand sleepless nights.

into the sound
of wind
a leaf falls