I want to talk about the bonnets, she wants
to talk about the deer.

The winter road to her farm crests higher,
dips lower with approaching dark.

There, where the county road T’s
with the road to Pryor, last night’s meadow

was filled with grazing deer, and spotted with light beams
bouncing from her Jeep. If you knew how to squint,

she tells me, the deer looked like stick figures
etched on a limestone wall. For a moment,

we were both inside that cave.


My cell phone rings. Someone’s car
won’t start. Someone needs a lift.

What sound do you hear
when you try to start it?

Silence, he tells me, nothing but
silence when I turn the key.

This is what I want.


The Chinook was bending
prairie grass along the highway ditch.

Our car bucked the headwind.
Up ahead, one abandoned homestead.

Tumbleweeds bounced west to east
across the barren stretch.

There, for a moment: between the collapsed
wood shed and the garden plot,

two sisters in bonnets
and three brothers chasing hats.


Thanks to Untitled Country Review, this poem first appeared in their journal. Here.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website:

2 responses to “layers

  1. I left a comment at Untitled Country Review, can see the faded cotton of the bonnets. Faded cotton seems to be joined to me like Peter Pan’s shadow (if I remember that part correctly). xo

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