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farm of artifacts

By Anna Zwade

I was a child, barefoot, searching the asparagus fields

for reasons my father’s voice doesn’t grow tall.

it was our only trip to the farm of artifacts—

his childhood home bent toward the marsh;

his steps, inaudible,

while I bathed in my grandfather’s laughter


my father spent afternoons hovering outside doorways

as I stared into the sun, daring it to blind me,

not recognizing the moments

his sorrow felt like daybreak

until years later, when I heard him curse the stars

for hiding behind a thin sheet of blackness


in adulthood, as I found myself behind a locked door,

my father taught me how to shake a damp sky

you wait until it shakes itself

a lethargic hum beating against heaven,

holding breath for the morning dew

Anna Zwade earned her degree from Virginia Commonwealth University with an academic focus on female autonomy. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys listening for the mirth of loved ones. Her work has been published in West Trade Review, Screen Door Review, Meridian, and more.

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