I can imagine the horses grazing
by the shed in the pasture opposite our house
—the off-limits grounds guarded by a fence
we could easily hop and signs advising us
not to. If you leave the house today
I’ll be alone, the other roommates already gone
to work. What if instead of my failing heart
I thought of the neighbor on his porch,
shotgun clutched against his chest?
The best apology is a landscape
full of yellow trees, barbed wire catching sun
above gravel, cattle with backs turned
to the coming rain. If you leave the house today
I’ll sit outside and eye the property line,
agonize over the thought: quick trot
through the off-limits, hills thick with flowering,
no one there to call out and stay the gun.
Jacob Griffin Hall was raised outside of Atlanta, Ga and is currently a PhD candidate in English at the University of Missouri. In the past, he has worked as assistant poetry editor for the Mid-American Review and he now works as poetry editor for The Missouri Review. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in New South, DIAGRAM, New Ohio Review Online, The Carolina Quarterly, The Indianapolis Review, and other journals.