Sowing Ohio

by Rochelle Hurt


Housebound in this town, love yellows.
Stay, and watch the walls peel away
from their ceilings.

Look through this window:
a mother stretches herself, and pulls
at the roof, little blanket feigning escape.

Her skin is sallow and singed
like a letter rescued from a fire.

Behind her
in their Sunday dresses, two daughters bend,
hinged at the middle, and spend
hours scouring the curry-colored rug—
something lost, a button popped.

Their dark hair’s turned tawny,
the color of searching too long,
color of color gone.

A miniature twister turns itself dizzy
and blows figure-eights through the room.

Husks, the daughters ripple
and tip, then pick themselves up again.

The walls flutter as the long-armed mother
holds them.

Upstairs, a father is whispering,
I want to live, forever
climbing out the window.

See how easily it all comes down—

how quickly the table kicks off its legs;
how the light bulbs drop
into the yellow sea of carpeting;
how the blinds break apart
and scatter like leaves;
how the house only wants to shake
itself down to a fistful of seeds
cast wide across its square lot of wheat.

Originally published in This Land, Vol. 4, Issue 21. Nov. 1, 2013.