What We Keep After It’s Gone

I saw a dead animal every day
for two months—one by one,
five white chickens, a different
hen every other morning, dead

in her cage, blood, black and dry
by dawn. The goldfish floating
in the pond. My horse, Holly,
draped in her blonde mane.

Random wild animals: The deer
on Elder Rd, a raccoon at the curb
of I-85, a bird out of its nest
in the middle of my drive. Pregnant,

a possum lodged under the house,
found by fumes. When they pulled
her out, her decaying belly fell
open with little ones, still intact.

It was the end of love notes
tucked into children’s lunchboxes,
into the ex’s briefcase.
I didn’t know if such carnage

could feed what lived—
as I carried a rat on my shovel
and listened to its body thump
as I tossed it into the brush.

Cynthia Good

Cynthia Good is an award-winning author, journalist and TV news anchor. She has written six books including Vaccinating Your Child, which won the Georgia Author of the Year award. She has launched two magazines, Atlanta Woman and the nationally distributed PINK magazine for women in business. Cynthia’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals including Adanna Journal, Awakenings, Book of Matches, Brickplight, Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, Free State Review, Full Bleed, Main Street Rag, Maudlin House Review, Outrider Press, OyeDrum Magazine, The Penmen Review, Pensive Journal, Persimmon Tree, Pink Panther Magazine, Poydras, The Ravens Perch, Reed Magazine, Tall Grass, Terminus Magazine, They Call Us, and Voices de la Luna, Willows Wept Review among others. Her new chapbook from Finishing Line Press will be published later this year.