Something Stolen

by Benjamin Mast
Goshen, Indiana

They promised a green barrier

in exchange for ripping out the forest,

which we learned later only meant

two dead trees in front of their lot, where

I once picked raspberries with Grandma.

She had squashed the fruits bloody,

her thin skin tearing at each thorn,

the joys and pains forgotten as she

worried about a baby that wasn’t there.

She lived in our house until she fell

and her body’s breaks matched her mind’s.

She didn’t know me then, or ever, really,

but I remember her cardboard smell

and her impossibly tight grip, like a

tourniquet at my wrist, her knuckles

fossilized with raspberry scars

and a blue-veined map of lost lands.

Her eyes spoke of something stolen.

Benjamin Mast grew up in a Mennonite community in northern Indiana. He currently lives and works in Seattle with his boyfriend.