She’s missing. I find her curled up like a towel
by the dryer in the laundry room
and she cannot walk.
I have to carry her back
and want it winter,
the snow canceling everything,
but spring it is, and the apple trees
where she’d climb and hunt
are an appalling green.
I hold her up to me
with her head pressed to the side of my throat.
To comfort her I try to sing.
And I am that which does not sing,
but then those same gods that bring us
to the graves of cherished things
take pity on me or seem to take pity
and make my throat a low bassoon,
a grafting of air and hollowness.
To this low humming, all of us move.
I run my hands over her,
her betraying blood, her little bones.
Eliot Wilson has published two books of poems and won two NEA fellowships, and he has two chickens—Opal and Iris. He lives in Golden, Colorado.