Back to Issue Eleven.

Salt Creek, Missouri


Sometimes a ghost is not a ghost
but a woman who hates me a thousand

miles eastward. There is nothing 
I can do here but palm the weight 

of hailstones, wear the green rain 
as a veil. Two hens named for country 

stars attack a hen named for a queen. 
There is no one I can ever be 

to her than the brat her husband loved 
first. Trees wring bare hands: winter. 

Dog-tooth violets flirt with soft earth: 
nearly. I once had a plan to forget him. 

How futile our backstory, how  
precious her grudge. Today, I drive out 

to the field with five white horses 
just to make sure they’re all still there.



Ross 10

Anne Barngrover is author of Yell Hound Blues (Shipwreckt Books, 2013) and co-author with Avni Vyas of the chapbook Candy in Our Brains (CutBank, 2014). Her poems have appeared in Mid-American Review, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, and others. She earned her M.F.A at Florida State University and is currently a Ph.D. student in Poetry at University of Missouri.

More by Anne Barngrover:
"The month after the cruelest month," Poetry, Issue Eleven.