Michael Hettich


There Was a Mother

gave birth to a bone
which grew a kind of flesh
and lived. There was a memory
grew hands and pulled itself
back into this world.

One kind of wind
blows just to blur things:
One kind of wind
scrubs us, makes us light
and shadow.

Another kind of wind
can’t move.


Memorable Food

We went fishing one Saturday that winter my brother
was in a wheelchair. The day was clear glass

He caught an eel—as long as our father’s arm—
which refused to die. He had caught it, so we took it

home, to eat. And though our mother
smashed its head with brick and hammer,

it still flailed.
And when she chopped its head off

with the dull hatchet
my father used for kindling,

it flailed more wildly, spewing blood
all over the walls or our kitchen, the windows,

our parents. By the time it finally
lay still, it was bruised and flaccid, flattened

beyond recognition, the color of intestines.
--And then our parents broiled and ate it,

with garlic. Delicious they called out, coughing
into their napkins, chewing and coughing

and calling out enthusiastically to thank my little brother
for catching such interesting, such memorable food.