A man gave me a parachute
by Karin Wraley Barbee

  1. I buried it.
  2. It was thin,
  3. red, blue, green,
  4. but strong. The wind
  5. kept carrying it from me,
  6. tugging it away as I balled it
  7. up and stuffed it into the hole
  8. I’d dug behind the house.
  9. Even when I tossed the wet,
  10. heavy dirt on top
  11. like a marriage,
  12. it kept moving.
  1. When I was done, I patted the lump,
  2. stuck a stick in it and left.
  3. Reality is, the thing was never
  4. going to work. It was always
  5. bound to tangle in itself or
  6. open into another spinning chute
  7. a couple hundred feet above Ohio,
  8. twist violently, then plummet.
  9. Or it would have simply stayed
  10. tightly packed,
  11. hit the ground never having
  12. opened. A straight shot --
  13. explosion of mud and blood.
Packingtown Review – Vol.11, Spring 2019

A native of Ohio, Karin Wraley Barbee currently teaches composition and creative writing at Siena Heights University. She lives with her husband and two children in Tecumseh, Michigan. Her work has appeared in Natural Bridge, Swerve, Fjords Review, Columbia Review, The Diagram, Whiskey Island, Found Poetry Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Fiction Southeast, and Sugar House Review.

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