Poem by Christina M. Ward
Every week or so Daddy brings home a stiff-legged,
russet-colored doe and hangs her by her feet on my swing set.
Mamma blinks her eyes away and silently wipes
down the aged green countertops
with a dilapidated kitchen sponge.
He is careful with the knife in the afternoon sun,
blood mixing with sweat,
dripping from his elbows.
The dirt below is painted a muddy sienna
that stays for days.
We are careful where we step,
remembering the blood that had
drained from her nose.
Daddy works quickly.
I turn my eyes from the tongue, hanging there
fat, limp, pink.
Mamma defrosts the freezer with hot water
that runs across the floor.
We mop it up quickly,
slip out of Daddy’s way as he carries each
veiny lump to the counter.
He washes them carefully.
They drop and slap loudly in the sink.
He wraps them, marks them,
arranges them in piles on the table.
Mamma prepares the flour and the skillet.