Backyard of garter snakes stretched down to soggy marsh.
My father left slices of death behind the mower.
Up a hill alone to kindergarten. Red-marked worksheets
strewn free from my bag.
My father’s beercan collection shelved library neat.
A rusted nail passed through my shoe.
Sideburns and shag carpet. Gray fuel of smoke.
My mother at the sink. At the stove.
Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Predator. Prey.
Bitten by a mouse that I wrestled from our cat.
My mother in blue bathrobe, crying at the table.
I threw toys down the stairs to blame my baby sister.
My uncle ran alongside my first bike, sailed me loose
across the snake-dead grass.