As the animal returns on a beaten path
to the den, we go back over the facts
certain we ignored clear signs.
I left for Italy that summer, though
she had quit her job and moved back home.
I knew it signaled a bad turn but chose
the Tuscan love affair in the seventeenth-century
olive mill. We say we survive our siblings’
suicides, meaning we stood with our parents
at the unthinkable graves. In one theory,
the troubled family sacrifices one member,
as plants surrender leaves in times of drought.