On the first day of the tenth month they took her voice.There was a clock in every room of the mansion and not a single one showed the correct time. Still, a bell rang for meals so nothing was lost. The food was good. There was always a fresh sliced tomato and cheese. The meat was already cut into bite sized pieces. They were not very trusting when it came to knives. She considered the damage she could do with a fork, but in the end her eyes were too important. Every animal she saw in the meadow or at the edge of the forest was damaged in some way; a dragging limb, twisted horns, two heads. She used to call to them, but that was no longer possible. Now she carried a small three legged stool everywhere she went. When she sat on it, she pulled handfuls of birdseed and cracked corn from her pockets and spread it in a circle around her. Some was lost in the grass and sprouted overnight. There were sunflowers everywhere she went. Most though, was eaten by the pheasants and quail and wild turkeys, all of them silent no matter the time of day.
-- Lisa J. Cihlar’s poems have been published in The Pedestal Magazine, Green Mountains Review, In Posse Review, Bluestem, and The Prose-Poem Project. One of her poems was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in rural Southern Wisconsin.