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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 2, June 2019
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Carol Pearce-Worthington
New York City, New York, USA


The Goat

We are not allowed to enter the basement where boxes tumble, cans crash. All day the tumult continues below. Everyone creeps around. We are allowed just a glimpse from the upper stairway but see nothing but a short bearded goat staring back from that dismal dark. The goat resumes its assault as to make sure that nothing will be left standing. The atmosphere upstairs becomes fearful strange. We sit as if for transformation. We barely eat.

It is in the nature of he-goats to flee their bondage. We must wait for this to happen. The goat is fighting for its life, like rocks hitting shore.

We dine upstairs in safety. The crashing, the breaking continue below. I sneak another look. The goat stares back at me, its neck rope frayed and hanging. But it is just a small goat, I protest. The woman corrects: tomorrow downstairs goat will be no more, she challenges my eyes.

By morning it is over. Birds chatter. We are given goat’s milk to taste, musty and warm. You see? The woman says. You see?

There is a wisp of chill in the air. The goat grazes by a cistern outside. It is on this goat that the family must survive the winter. Children tug at its tail.

the sky
seeing it all
for the first time

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