Grandmother: Dairy Farm

Gaunt, beneath pounds of material,

in a corner so dark I only knew

she was there when headlights passed

and her eyes flashed silver.

Cat eye, moon fog in darkness, and the

smell of manure worked into the seams

of everything. She rose and dragged the lame

left leg behind her and showed me the vacant

stall where the extraction pumps hung

metallic and finished, still as a surgeon’s tools

or execution wires. The wind whipped itself

against the siding of the barn, and she told me

there was no place to bury her. The Swiss clip

of her voice was as hard and unopenable

as the frozen ground; and then she took me

to the cellar, and I saw the rows of beans

and peaches, her botched fruits, magnified

in utero.

Holli Carrell is a recent graduate of the MFA Program in Poetry at Hunter College where she was a teaching fellow. She is recipient of the Colie Hoffman Poetry Prize and has received scholarships from the NYS Summer Writer’s Institute. Her writing has appeared in This Recording and Bright Wall/Dark Room. She is originally from Utah.