after Julia Story’s Toad Circus
All my prize stuffed animals starved to death the day after the fair ended. To mourn them, I packed wet leaves into the backyard tree’s cramped angles, then sat on the contagious porch stairs and waited for dark to fill the yard. The long field of that fair grew into a forest at the end of my mind, each tree a memory of leaves, and suddenly the silhouette of the half-dismantled fairgrounds flared in the afterglow. Not even an imaginary stream, carving itself along the border of the forest, could bring those animals back to life. Instead, I had to make peace with the delicate sound of leaves drying all night, loosening themselves from their crevices with a crinkling just softer than silence.
Robin Arble is a poet from the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Their poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Door Is A Jar, Anti-Heroin Chic, Pøst-, Brazos River Review, and Overheard Magazine, among others. They study literature and creative writing at Hampshire College.