Sunday, April 24, 2016

New Poetry by Brandi Kary


When my father tells the story
the punch line is always
about the size of my hands—
How small and perfect they were
 in just the right moment.
And he sits there
on the recliner
in his gray sweater
talking like a cowboy.

The story goes like this:
 My mother was gone somewhere
and I had come outside.
It was late in the season for a birth.
And the pack of men were all standing around
And our cow had half of her calf
hanging out of her.

 No one knew what to do,
but cows are money
And it had been too long
And they both were going to die.
So somehow I walked over there
Driven by instinct or luck or something --
And I got it out.

Like waterfall the calf  
ripped into the world
Still it a perfect sack
The placenta,
Unwrapped like a gift.

No one believes the story at first,
but it is true,
And I am afraid of it.

 See when my father tells it,
He always leaves out the details:

Like the way needle grass, sugar bush,
Brittle brush, and wild rye
were taller than usual that year.
The low hum of the cicadas
could be heard for miles.
 Or how the men drank sixers
 and shoot bee bees at the trunks of trees
 while I carried that sack
far out to the field.

I dug a hole with my perfect hands
And neatly tucked it away.
You might be wondering
 if something beautiful happened after that.
But life continued.

The placenta in the field
a meal for the coyotes,
the pill bugs,
a feast for my family

Such beasts we hope
one day unearth themselves-
Our stories,
our fictions,
our bones
our birth.
So that  
someone with
perfect hands
can dig it up
far out
in the field.

- Brandi Kary 2016

Brandi Kary is a mother, educator, and writer who lives in Pacific Grove, California.  She currently teaches English and Creative Writing at Monterey Peninsula College and Cal State Monterey Bay. Both she and her anthropologist husband enjoy dragging their kids all over the world to gain inspiration.  Her poetry has recently appeared in Homestead Review, The Voices Project, and  Flutter Poetry Journal.

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