The screened kitchen dooralways closed cousins behind it.She wasn't very old when shelearned that silence, worn likean old work cap, locked her aloneon her side of the door.No one followed to the stackwall shedwhere wild cats with yellow eyesand no bodiesrolled awfully among the lumber.Her grandad was always there,skinning boards with a sawthat once popped his thumb from its bed.His trimmed hand feeding teh bladewould pass over her braided headlike a benediction. [End Page 43]
Dana Wildsmith's is the author of the novel Jumping, released in 2016. Her other published works include Alchemy, Our Bodies Remember, Choices (an audio collection), One Good Hand, and Back to Abnormal. Her poems and essays have been widely published in both literary and commercial journals, and in the anthology Listen Here: Women Writing in Appalachia.