Windows

Location

She was thinking about windows

The window in Mr. McClellan’s bedroom that Tom had shattered playing catch

With those older boys down the street.

The windows in her own house

That could use a good scrubbing.

The window in the kitchen.

Wasn’t there always a window in the kitchen,

Every kitchen,

Right over the sink?

She doused the dishes from breakfast,

From soupy oatmeal and orange juice,

In soapy sink water with calloused hands

And wondered about the kitchen windows.

She washed the dishes when she was only eleven,

Eleven and pretty with lips that hummed pretty songs,

Eleven and pretty with eyes that looked out a pretty window-

A pastoral poem written on the horizon

And grass as high as her forehead clamoring towards the pink sky

Set ablaze by the weary sun.

What if the sun caught the field on fire?

Never mind that-

God wouldn’t allow it.

The white picket fence with whitewash sweating in the sleepy afternoon,

A drowsy gate swinging lazily from a rusty hinge

And the horses grazing-

Fancy and Glory, Sol and Luna.

Sol and Luna- that meant sun and moon.

She read it in a Spanish book her sister brought from school.

Sun and moon

Up in the sky, running through the grass

Untamed and unbridled colts standing in the field

Growing as swiftly as the grass.

And she,

Her hands flying,

Her mind wondering

Where the moon and sun

Might one day take her-

Beyond the sleepy sunburnt gate

Somewhere, anywhere.

A wasp bounced off the torn window screen

Angrily, buzzing, sneering.

Well, she wasn’t eleven anymore

And the sun had burned to ashes

And the moon had waned

And the poem had been ripped from the sky.

She looked out the window and saw the back of Mr. McClellan’s house,

The shattered glass of his bedroom window,

And little Tom pulling at the grass

That barely tickled his ankles.

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