The blue forest, chilled and blue, like the lips of the dead if the lips were gone. The year has been cut in half with dull scissors, the solstice still looking for its square on the calendar. Perhaps the scissors were really lawn mowers or hoes. Perhaps God's calendar is Chinese. As first I didn't understand those burlap dolls slouched in Central Pennsylvania craft stores. Where were the button eyes, the tiny pearl nostrils? the smudgy pink watercolor cheeks?
I enter the woods--part Gretel, part Little Red. Such a small patch of sun makes it to the ground through the leaves. The tree trunks are all elbows and knees, all arthritis and gripes. The Amish think it's wrong to render nature, quilts abstracting each pattern's name of tree, buggy, corn, horse, farm. My uncle, not Amish but superstitious, holds his palm to the camera in a Christmas photo. Before she died my grandmother ripped up all the pictures of herself. She liked a novel with mystery, magazines without nudity.
The boy was killed by a drunk driver. My Amish neighbors forgive. I prefer seeing it all, the snot, the optical nerve, the liver behind the belly's skin. I prefer a good fight, a wailing of grief. The Farmers' Market sells apples as red as tricycles. The dolls without faces want it silent. The forest, all anger and yesterday, newspapers blank as white cotton sheets. the branches, the teeth, the awful vees.