The Student Literary Journal of Vermont State University

Which of them had the idea
to write my name on an envelope,
seal itself in
and slip under my door at dinner time?

Who will kill them for me,
string them for a necklace
weave their milky eyes
through the branches of my tree
so others will know not to come?

Who will chase them with brooms,
stamp them under boots,
glue them to paper,
shovel them, shake them from logs,
listen at wallboards for more?

The clothes I wear, gray thick shadows
buttoned past my neck, even in summer, aren’t enough
when the field is blacked out and all wires down,
when they’re lined up on my hearth
and the house is teeming.


INFESTATION from At the Gate ©1995 by Martha Rhodes. Reprinted with permission of Provincetown Arts. All rights reserved.