ellie epp



the man whose heavy step in the long grass comes so close
to the place where my head hides   listening
the gun is taller than i am and leans against the wall,
his accomplice                   he tips his chair back
it is the day when a cow dies       two shots out of sight
and then she is hanging by her hind legs
he is the bloody man who slips the breadknife
her parts summersault into the bathtub
in rags       black       grease and dirt
at the gas pump the air shakes around him
going to town in the truck i keep my eyes away
the beef in the back shift their weight
he opens his door       sixty miles an hour       leans out
listens to the engine             its roar is his accomplice
don't be afraid
i am afraid
could it be
the story of father and daughter
is always so dark
years at opposite ends of the table
they don't talk
mother put the gun someplace
neither of us can know
how beautiful he is             even so broken
she never can shine             his light is so strong
his evil   his wrong   his hidden   his terrible power
we are all inhabited with his terrible life
no one who colludes with me against him                     -   come with me  
no one who colludes with me against him             can come near me
you must promise to write down what i say
you must promise not to be afraid
you must be prepared
it could be the story of a killing
it could be the story of a rescue