She wears a headset
in her trailer in rural Indiana

so she can foretell the future while

making beds, doing the laundry

washing dishes

emptying the cat box

She answers with whatever

comes into her head–

is that not how inspiration works?

You will meet your true love

on a Thursday, he will enjoy

long walks and dinners by candlelight

Your daughter is not dead

I see her near a body of water

She has never stopped loving you

Your chainsaw is closer

than you think. It was stolen

by an immigrant

Her job has awakened her mind:

In spring, looking out over blank fields

she sees the purple haze of henbit

spread and turn to magenta

sees it pass fire to redbuds

waking in tousled fencerows

feels the eyes of potatoes open

in the bin under the kitchen sink.

In that moment she believes

she can understand the crows

cawing in the woods

and is suddenly certain

that today fate will bring her

news of the three fathers of her three children

and that soon she will be able to predict her past.


Elaine Palencia is the author of six books of fiction, three poetry chapbooks, and a short monograph, The Literary Heritage of Hindman Settlement School. Her work has received seven Pushcart Prize nominations and is forthcoming in Good Works Review and Sow’s Ear Poetry Review.