indication something worth investigating
was within. It took all my strength to
slide to open, close again.
New birth in pungent urgency led
me to the still born calf quite warm. I
nestled into the hay beside it, placed
my arms around its neck.
I knew what death was—had
listened to whispers about my
mother’s not long before. I could
hear the mother cow’s loud bawling
from outside the back barn door.
I felt the spirit lift from the calf, swirl
around me, disappear. It grew cold;
I felt damp fear.
I sat in the caliginous stall
until my sister came, took my
hand, ran with me past my grandmother’s
garden of hollyhocks, iris, strawberries,
rhubarb, past the spot where the
rattler soaked up water from a sprinkler
one August day, past the rotten elm where
winged fire ants swarmed in balls before
they tumbled to the ground.
We opened the rusted screen door, tiptoed
to bed where I lay crying, because it
felt so wondrous, because it felt so good,
until the moon’s stain no longer
spread across the floor.
Bio: Ronda Miller enjoys wandering the high plateau of NW Kansas where the Arikaree Breaks whisper late into the sunset and scream into blizzards and t-storms. She lives in Lawrence close to her son and daughter. She is Youth Contest Manager for Kansas Authors Club, District 2 President, and a Life Coach specializing in working with those who have lost someone to homicide. She dances every chance she gets. She has poetry in numerous online and hard copy publications that include The Smithsonian Institute.
Guest Editor Diane Wahto has an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University. Her poem, “Someone Is Always Watching,” won the American Academy of Poets award. Recently, her poems “The Conspiracy of Coffee” and “After the Storm” were published in Active Aging. She, her husband, and two dogs live in Wichita, Kansas. firstname.lastname@example.org