She tells a story about a copperhead taking a shovel to the neck. She will specify the color of some things, and I do not tell her snakes represent the future. Some books say they are strange keepers of what most won't know. I say that snakes are more deadly when they're younger, when they haven't yet come to the understanding that they don't need to spend all their venom at once. It's the color that repeats: worn tan; Appalachian spring; chestnut glade. The story ends with a woman losing her foot and having a baby. Old cat-eyes, hundred pacer.

Sara Slaughter