The Last Walker Sister, 1964
She sits alone whittling a willow branch.
Poplar burns among the hearth stones,
soot thickening. Mold blooms
in the churn on the porch and the loom
catches leaves from gusts. Four vacant beds
remain made, their hand-stitched coverlets
spread smooth. Her sisters’ hat boxes
stacked in neat lines. In the yard,
past the corn crib, two deer nose the fall grass,
steam rising from their snouts.
In the fireplace, a log collapses
from its own charred weight.
Burning wood and the knife’s blade
portioning slices to the flames
are her only conversation.
Header photo by k_samurkas, courtesy Shutterstock. Photo of Dan Morris by Lumiere Tintype Photography.