When the wind is right, I can hear the prison’s PA system drifting out of the woods. There’s a mouse nest inside the bluebird box. There’s a broken chainsaw inside the shed. It’s not all bad. We have three guitars, a full set of china without any chips, a leaking pipe that somehow has fixed itself. I love this family. The parakeets have their way with the financial section, and the mortgage continues without wish of commutation.

Charles Rafferty’s twelfth collection of poems is The Smoke of Horses (BOA Editions, 2017). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, O, Oprah Magazine, Prairie Schooner, and Ploughshares. He is an amateur archeologist and lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

See more of his work in issue 6.2 here.