I saw a long line of cars.
I saw a big white house.
The ground was mottled
and abraded like
the back of a buffalo.
I saw a chicken coop,
a muddy ditch,
the padded cell
of the sky.
I saw a hunting blind,
ratcheting arms,
coal silos,
sand silos,
yards like ratty bath
mats, abandoned
sand boxes.
No green man.
No benevolent cow.
No villagers whistling
and hoisting sickles.
No multi-colored houses.
No woman waltzing
on the wind, Chagall.
It was the morning after,
the tough rows to hoe,
the scrub brush of babies
and midnight feedings,
Kansas before the witch’s
stockings and the wizard’s
charade. No tree of life,
just my chalky fingers
on the windowpane,
just my face pressed
against the glass.

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KELLY FORDON's work has appeared in The Florida Review, The Kenyon Review (KRO), Rattle and various other journals. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks. The first one, On the Street Where We Live, won the 2012 Standing Rock Chapbook Award and the latest one, The Witness, won the 2016 Eric Hoffer Award for the Chapbook and was shortlisted for the Grand Prize. Her novel-in-stories, Garden for the Blind, was chosen as a Michigan Notable Book, a 2016 Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, an Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist in the short story category. Her first full-length poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, was published by Kattywompus Press in February 2019. A new short story collection, I Have the Answer, will be published by Wayne State University in April 2020. She teaches at the College for Creative Studies, Springfed Arts, and InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit.

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