Daisy went into the woods alone, wearing red. We had circled around her, arms over each other’s shoulders to bless her on her way, watching her go into the woods, mouths open but finally saying nothing, no warnings. The young are deaf; she was old enough that there was no stopping her. We saw her go into the woods, but our mouths were empty. We are only faces, hands and feet. She will be surrounded by children born, unborn, still born. A pale butterfly will change her world. A baby’s head will be a womb, its arms fallopian tubes. We are only branches, vines, blood, veins, bones, and vanity. The woods are their own being, not friendly. Hands and feet, we labor in the fields, the orange groves, the pecan orchards. They were woods, once upon a time.
fiction has appeared in Western Humanities Review, The Citron Review, Vestal Review, and elsewhere. His stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best Microfiction. More of his work can be found at SDGibson.org.