How Soft Your Fields So Green

by Chris Antzoulis

 

My grandfather and his brother,
                                         Pasquale,
                               lived on a farm in Toritto as children.
They had no shoes
for milling around,
                               just one pair each,
for occasions
that called for covered feet.

Sometimes their father would ask
                               for a chicken from the pen
                        for dinner.
This was before Pasquale died
of sunstroke.
But together,
they would collect rocks
from the field
                                         for their slingshots.

They fired them off,
                                barefoot in the dirt
                         of the pen,
at the chickens.
They wouldn’t stop
until a stone struck just right,
                                         and one of the birds went lame.

First published in Madcap Review, 2018.