American Gothic

by Camille Hugret

His spinster daughter has set the table.
Bowl of red water and a glass of moss.
The cows, long grown thinner in the stable
slip like needles through barn boards and are lost.
Upstairs mute portraits hang on wakeful hooks.
Because they were farmers so must he be,
to add their debts to his in a lined book,
each ink-tarred page a badge of poverty.
The night train’s low lamp sweeps the plain of wheat
and this scene dimly shown:
A blind unflagging race, the spotted crush of beasts
to meet the train in waves of froth and bone.
Over the red barn and the lights of town
evening circles once, thickly and lays down.

Camille Hugret-Getzik lives with her husband on an island in the Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Mosaic, The Eunoia Review, and Barnstorm. In 2011 she received her MFA from San Diego State University. She is at work on a short-story collection and a novel.

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