SHE GETS A SLIVER IN HER TOE, walking barefoot in the hayloft. She undoes the twine and drops the bale, the hungry cows getting up from stanchions with knees like her grandma’s. She sits on the landing. The cows are black and white. They eat a lot.
She gets up and gathers. It’s almost summer, and soon she will go to the fields with her father and her sister, catching the bales as the baler spits them, and she will lift and stack them.
They’ll be high.
She gets high on the smell of them.
Kim Chinquee has published fiction and nonfiction in The Nation, Ploughshares, NOON, StoryQuarterly, Denver Quarterly, Fiction, Story, Notre Dame Review, Conjunctions, and elsewhere. She is chief editor of Elm Leaves Journal and codirector of SUNY–Buffalo State’s writing major.