Broken Bow Nebraska
The arrow tastes the horse’s hide in the field and stops stuck in the meat.
The horse falls to its forelegs and then on its side and lands on a garter snake
sunning itself in the sweet clover. The last image the horse sees
is an airplane though she thinks only of the pail
the girl brings her and then thinks nothing. The snake drowns in the blood, the girl
ignores her mother calling her
from the porch to come inside now, it will rain soon. But the girl knows,
senses the weight of the sky. She always knows a bad thing’s coming: an arrow,
a storm, a big man’s footsteps down the hall with the triptych frames. The day
had thrust into her heart before she rose from beneath the flower
comforter over her bed. The horse is still warm and the snake
pressed deep in the sodden earth that grows feed.
Jennifer Martelli’s debut poetry collection, The Uncanny Valley, was published in 2016 by Big Table Publishing Company. She is also the author of the chapbook, Apostrophe. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Thrush, [Pank], The Baltimore Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and The Pittsburgh Poetry Review. Jennifer Martelli has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net Prizes and is the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry. She is a book reviewer for Up the Staircase Quarterly, as well as a co-curator for The Mom Egg VOX Blog Folio.