- The House on Fish Hatchery Road
When I saw the neighbor’s kids playing kick-the-can, I knewit wasn’t a can. Instead, some slim gift of faulty fleshfloated at the tips of their sneakers—squirrel, robin? I wentinside and stuck the needle in my soft, soft belly,counted to ten as I pushed the plunger down. Outsidethe bathroom window, the dog ran from leaf pile to leaf pile,pissing his delight.
On the neighbor’s picnic tablea green beer bottle sat in the sun, fat with unfinishedcigarettes. Someone had peeled the label off all the wayaround and left it there, wanting and half-full of nothing.Unmade child, I dream you despite everything. The caraccidents and cruelties, the metal and tubes—whateverwe’re meant for, whether it comes for us or not. [End Page 177]
keetje kuipers is the author of Beautiful in the Mouth and The Keys to the Jail. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, West Branch, Painted Bride Quarterly, Willow Springs, and AGNI, among others. A Wallace Stegner Fellow from 2009 to 2011, she is now an assistant professor at Auburn University.