A Story about a Story about Death
I am old. My grown daughter is helping me fall
asleep, telling me a story she once heard
as a little girl. My daughter is holding my hand
the way the ground holds a greedy shadow. The story
goes like this—a little girl’s father lived
to be a cottonwood. Every day, the girl read books
entangled in branches. Evenings, the moon
swam between leaves. Interrupting the story,
my grown daughter nods toward the dark
window. In it, a soft painting of a child
caring for a tree. That’s when I know
I’m asleep, pretending to be a white sheet
of paper. All around, June wind blows
the limbs’ whispers like familiar snow.
From Autoblivion (Conduit Books, 2023) by Trey Moody. Copyright © 2023 by Trey Moody. Used with the permission of the author.