flood fish/pumpkin moon, by Grace Cahill

after the flood we grew carnivore pumpkins,
fed on flood fish
—silver fish, too small for species,
they had died in the mud of the road,
where the brook had leapt up,
had its loud tantrum,
and then sucked away,
a little ashamed
after the summer we harvested pumpkins,
child-sized, glossy-skinned pumpkins,
were they exceptional?
were they sweeter, or fatter?
shouldn’t they have been?
how else would a stream
pay a debt?
but there was no magic—they were only
good for carving and pie,
this is only the truth:
a flood came and went,
we planted a garden,
we picked what it grew,
the world was ordinary—
except that the moon, when it rose,
after the ruin,
was orange, stuffed with white seeds,
and my sister, when she told the flood story,
said the brook had crawled up
like it was alive
—wet elbows and knees,
silt eyes, pebbles for teeth—
and all we could say was
no, no it didn’t
have teeth

Grace Cahill holds a B.A. in English from Castleton University. She is from Vermont, but currently lives in rainy northeast Scotland. “flood fish/pumpkin moon” is her first published work. Grace is always lurking and sporadically active on Twitter, @gracewords.

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