The Chores

by Frannie Lindsay

for Liz

My father sets the box of newborn kittens
into the pit of soil. I’ve done a good job
with his shovel.

He pats my bottom. I’ve tucked the right bullets
into the pouch of my overalls. He lets me
load the revolver, closes his hands around mine

from behind. The gravel and silo and sky
run together with mewing.
Eggs over easy sputter and clap from the kitchen.

I push the loose hair from my face,
aim down. The morning air is slow
with green flies. The straps of my first bra

pinch my shoulders. I am his
good, good daughter. Now, he says,
and I don’t waste a shot.

Frannie Lindsay’s books are Mayweed  (Word Works Washington Prize); Lamb (Perugia); and Where She Always Was (Utah State University). In 2008, she won the Missouri Review Prize. Her poems have appeared in many journals, and on Poetry Daily and Writer’s Almanac. She has received fellowships from the NEA and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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