There are things men and women don't talk about,
things like brutal acts of war, miscarriages and
in the woods, the graphic way a man can die.
After the accident with the helicopter, my husband is stoic.
He was the first to see what a helicopter's tail rotor can do
to the head of a forester from Wisconsin, a forester
just out of college, a young man who for a split second
forgot about the flying blades, saw only his bags of fertilizer.
The tail rotor suffered damage. The helicopter could not fly.
Another helicopter did the evacuation. My husband claims
it's the best thing when the kid dies in ICU six hours later.
The rest I imagine while I mix corn muffins and ladle out chili.
Our son tells us about the tree fort he and his friend are building.
The cat jumps on my husband's lap, circles and starts purring.
It doesn't take long to bake brownies. This time I frost them.
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Joy L. McDowell is a University of Oregon graduate who writes from her home above Oregon's Willamette Valley and from a studio at the edge of the Coos Bay estuary. "The Rest I Imagine" was published in New Poets of the American West.