I am reading secrets of yellow

tomato plants, studying life-lines

on their leaf-shaped palms.

Home from school the neighbor boy leans

over the fence. Asks about my day.


I’d tell him I found a lump

under my skin. I think it will end me.

Like a fly on meat

it’s hatched its eggs.


I’d tell him how my husband knew

a year ago, my mother three

decades before that.


I’d tell him but we’re done

talking. He hangs a thick arm

over the chain-linked fence.


Last week we admired our shadows

over cardboard guns held together

with rubber bands and silver

tape. He told me he’s an artist—

that sometimes he watches me

from his kitchen window.


I want to say that I’m an artist too

but the arrangement has turned

somehow, fast like a fire, or slow

like a leaf.



Tamra Carraher

Tamra Carraher has published two books of poems and illustrations for children titled PICTURE/BOOK and Bluefish Haiku and is currently exhibiting line drawings of poems at Bahdeebahdu in Philadelphia. Her poetry has been featured in the online literary journal Toe Good Poetry. She received an MFA from New England College in January 2014 and has worked as an Associate Editor for the Naugatuck River Review.

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