The Swallet
​      finalist for the 46er Prize

The sidewalk buckles, crumbles into the rapidly 
spreading crevasse that swallows the hedgerow. 

A single yap, and the Meyers' poodle is gulped; 
moments later, their swing set, screen porch, 

and rumpus room tumble out of sight. Earth's 
unsteady this season, we murmur, squinting over 

the hole's wrinkled lip. Children peer around our 
legs, cling like mollusks. Rotten luck, someone 

mutters, as others shout down the echoing shaft 
of soil. Dirt catches in the Meyers' throats as 

they call us by name. Our children lower toys 
on lengths of rope, clattering, in case Meyers, 

like trout, are lured by shine. But there's no tug, 
and burdened ropes are drawn up. Soon, rains 

come, fill the crater to overflowing, and we 
dangle our legs over the sopping edge, warn our 

children away. The Meyers are everywhere now: 
they've blessed our gardens with an unbearable 

harvest of melons, tripped us on the crooked 
porch-step, installed spider webs in our attics. 

We find "Meyers," in our children's scrawl, 
on everything they deem precious. Holidays, 

we gather at the pit to set biscuit crumbs adrift,
tickle the surface to draw their attention. Years 

reduce the Meyers to a stick figure we sketch 
against our chests as we pass the hollow that 

still throbs like an abscess. We draw one index 
finger to the throat, then down, and slice across 

our ribs, culling the head from the heart.

LUIZA FLYNN-GOODLETT migrated to the Bay Area, after completion of her MFA at The New School. She was awarded the Andrea Klein Willison Prize for Poetry upon graduation from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Oberon Poetry, Meridian, Lumina, CALYX Journal, and Prism Review. She recently completed her first book, Congress of Mud.
The Adirondack Review