Blackbird an online journal of literature and the arts Fall 2007  Vol. 6 No. 2


Chris Abani
Victoria Chang
Michael Chitwood
Keith Ekiss
Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
Beth Ann Fennelly
Raza Ali Hasan
James Hoch
Cyan James
Julia Johnson
Larry Levis
Khaled Mattawa
Timothy O’Keefe
Catherine Pierce
Jon Pineda
John Poch
Austin Segrest
Louie Skipper
Ron Smith
Robert Thomas
Joshua Weiner
Lesley Wheeler
Charles Wright


Amen to the Ax

I would venture that she never said a prayer in her life.

She made a chocolate pie to die for.

She once cleared a hillside of pines after her boy went into the service.

She had hats with feathers and shells. Feral things that mated once a
   year, yowling and spitting.

She lit long matches.

After my wife met her she, my wife, said, “Why didn’t you tell me she
   was obese?”

She went to church because that’s what people did.

She cut the pines with an ax. The tattoo would have been audible at a
   quarter mile. To a listening ear.

I said, “I’d never noticed.”

She once shot a cat for nearly tripping her.

She wore glasses and kept false teeth in a cupboard.

Doctors delighted her.

She said she had heavy bones.

Which may have accounted for her not owning a swimsuit. And the
   business with prayer.

She tried to drive once and knocked the porch askew from the house.

The pines reseeded. As children we played among their shadows, happy
   days full of meaningless shouts.

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