by Noel Sloboda

Untouched, two lone survivors cleaved

to roosting rods, above the red
wet mess smeared across the planks. Why

they were spared by the red

fox who carried chaos indoors—
their sisters away—remained

a mystery; the reason

didn’t really matter: the girls
never recovered, and after

the eggs stopped, we couldn’t

read the poems scratched
in the dirt; they couldn’t

understand our apology

when we brought them
behind the corn crib

to the chopping block.

('Sealed' was first published by The Chaffin Journal)

Noel Sloboda, originally from New England, currently teaches at Penn State York and serves as dramaturg for the Harrisburg Shakespeare Company. His work has appeared in The Roanoke Review, Another Chicago Magazine, and Philadelphia Stories. He is the author of the poetry collection Shell Games (2008) as well as two chapbooks: Stages (2010) and Of Things Passed (2010).