On Saturday a woman in her late 30s
carries bags of groceries into the house.
Her children have returned from the pond.
In the kitchen sink are three full-grown mud-puppies.
In the bathtub is a sheepshead.
In the toilet bowl floats a dead toad, yellow belly up.
In the bathroom sink are six earthworms
struggling up the slick ceramic.
The children earn only 25ï¿½ from their zoo.
On Sunday they stage a puppet show on the front porch.
The show is called The House of Horrors.
It requires ketchup. To attract an audience
the children shout at passing cars.
It sounds like they are yelling
"Come see the House of Whores!"
Monday afternoon the woman lies on the couch
reading a mystery, when her children
slam into the house, yelling for popsicles.
She holds the book up. It is all they can see
of their mother. "Just a minute," she says,
"someone is about to be murdered."
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