I’m standing at the stove cooking pancakes
when in walks a goat.
The goat is black and white and gives me
a look over the bridge of his nose that I recognize
as a look of sadness.
And so I have a sad goat in my kitchen.
The tornado sirens have stopped.
He’s countertop height.
The cast on my arm under the sleeve
of my sweater isn’t visible to the goat, and I’m
glad for that. I flip the pancakes.
The goat shakes gently his beard, kicks
his left hoof, and stomps. I try to imagine
anything as smooth as a flipped pancake
as I wait for the other side to brown.
Copyright © 2018 Julia Johnson. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Winter 2018. Used with permission of the authors.
Julia Johnson is the author of three poetry collections: Subsidence (Groundhog Poetry Press, 2016), The Falling Horse (Factory Hollow Press, 2011), and Naming the Afternoon (LSU Press, 2002). She teaches creative writing at the University of Kentucky.
Date Published: 2018-12-10
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/failure