We ran out of beef in Texas and the women
are chewing their boots, hawking silver
and turquoise for lamb. They use their hats
to catch the neighbor’s chicken. They’re feeding
children hops and cornmeal mash, anything
the cows would eat. We slice the bison so thin
the marble becomes stained windows
and when there’s nothing left to look through
we come for the horses. The fajita plates are empty.
The barns are empty. We trade the saddles
and cast iron for deer. The grass is so high
the fireflies have taken over, and when the kids
run off the porch into fields, they emerge
like christmas trees blinking, decked and waiting
for the savior’s birth. The pastor said if they pray
his angels will bring us hamburger and ribeye,
but Mom and Dad don’t think that helps. They point
to the hide beneath the table and say remember?
We nod our heads even if we don’t. The kids ask
what were they like, and we tell them like dinosaurs.
About the Author: Leah Tieger is a graduate of Bennington College, a freelance writer, and a fiction and poetry reader for The Boiler. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Thank You for Swallowing, Menacing Hedge, and Off the Coast.