Blind in One Eye, Can’t See Out of the Other

according to her story / a woman, blind in one eye / didn’t tell her parents / she couldn’t see / until she was twelve. / Horrifying, but / she made it funny / and tragic because / obviously. / Got me thinking / what I’d kept quiet / not as cool as a blind eye / but a good story / like Dad’s wooden leg / trophy of a motorcycle crash / one he never talked about / not even at the dinner table / us kids quiet and still / not rapt, terrified / because wrong moves went noticed / no one wanted to be guinea pig / for whatever reproach / Dad delivered that day / eyes fixed on our plates / eating dinner with his gun / to our heads. / He could have said grace / could have bared his teeth in smile / could have seen us / two good eyes and all.


Instructions for a Life

unfurl the gravel road as a tablecloth, a bedsheet

drifting low towards horizon, stars spiriting upward

into the gloam. tug on the string of night, open

the door of birds blown from muddy fingers

their songs like sermons, like recipes. suds

buds bulging knots on limbs, massage

into being with fingertips dipped in wine. you

are halfway there. now comes the wait

weight of it all, trucks ticking time along

the highway hauling burdens to & fro

in shutter-speed time.


sleep. when the breadbox of morning lifts

it’s time to water the grave, excited as you’ll be

to untangle the fathomless frog of your throat

in the cattail bog harboring fairies in the marsh.


Cyn Kitchen

Cyn is an Associate Professor of English at Knox College where she teaches creative writing and literature. She is the author of Ten Tongues, a collection of short stories and also writes nonfiction and poems, some of which appear in such places as Still, Fourth River, American Writers Review and Poetry South. Cyn makes her home in Forgottonia, a downstate region on the Illinois prairie.

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