​Copyright 2019, West Trade Review
Mitchell Untch is an emerging writer. His work has appeared in Beloit Poetry JournalPoet LoreNorth American ReviewBaltimore Review, The Tampa Review, Painted Bride QuarterlyTar River Review, and the Chicago Quarterly among others.

Pleasant Valley Road

​“The world is governed by chance. Randomness stalks us every day of our lives."
  -Paul Auster

A dog tells me where I cannot go. 
There are fences everywhere, 
no one else for what seems, miles.
Hummingbirds pillage the groundcover.
Purple Loosestrife gain, 
Spring Hoverfly hold 
to what breezes they can,
Foxglove, Wild Carrot root 
like tossed bridal gowns.

The house to my left 
is the house where I lived. 
A tricycle disintegrates 
where the heat got to it. 
A swing emptied over the lawn,
a mother’s voice in the kitchen
a father’s boots 
dropped to the floor.
An open window 
turns the temperature out.

Beyond the house a field 
where my brother 
and I hid, a yellow field, moon burned;
where we hunted crickets, 
held ice-colored mice, bright as stars.
The rusted barrel where I hid 
my brother’s tennis shoes
has a tear where the weather’s been.
A branch on the ground leans toward it.
Nothing is too dark that can’t be lived in.  
Ask the Owl, my brother said.
Silence never leaves the throat entirely.

White blooms, 
everywhere on the tips of trees,
open moonlight.
The barn has a tin roof the rain clawed,
empty of everything but summer moods.
I hear the stream behind our house, 
fish withdraw between green-husked stones.
Salmon, trout, drag the water.
The moon relinquishes the past.
Our feet languish at the water’s edge. 

The church bell rusts.
Still, it has a lever to be pulled, 
sound to open.
The bright ballast of the front yard trees 
echo the wind
and the arms that swung from them,
my brother’s laughter as round
as the mouth of a tire stars fill. 
Rubbed leaves split underfoot, 
trumpet the soil. 
Where there were feet, 
there’s no more color.

Someone is heard singing 
in a kitchen of baked bread.
I remember all the words,
the sky-ward-ness through the curtains,
the faint whistling 
drawing circles with its pitch, 
what a mother sounds like, 
a father, an untethering, a thread,
the muddy constellation of a shoe.

There’s no end to journey.
I mean such things as this:
The way a fish looks up at the sky, 
asters of eyes, sweet moss remains.