curio by laura ellen scott



The Brewsters

We always called that rusty metal shack the Brewster house. It is in fact, a disused brooder house, which is a kind of shed for baby chickens. Thing leans wild, full of bent metal and cogs and boxes and dirt. It is a fortress of bees. An academy of mites. Not one thing do I understand.

Who are the Brewsters, anyway? How could they? I volunteer my mother to do their taxes. My brother is good with small motors. We’ll take the Brewster baby for an hour, put him in a drawer lined with soft towels. We’ll blend apricots for him to eat.

The tin screams as we enter forcibly to stand inside damnation. The Brewster children sleep in a pile, stuck together like old candy. Their parents are naked and chattering in the tub of a wringer washer, tipped over. Sometimes I think I want a love like that. They don’t even know we’re here. 

You call it eviction, I call it evacuation. The weeds that ring the Brewster house are begging for it, and though I rarely end my thoughts with burning houses, this time I make an exception. Besides, I’m dying to know.

Set all alight/Brewsters take flight. And they do, they pour from every gap and failed rivet. Hundreds of them. Some of them can see. That we are here.