Here is the title poem from that fine collection, her fifth:
she wouldn’t leave the house, or she’d be gone for weeks and return smelling of cigarettes and bleach.
She’d say what anyone would, but, like thunder in winter, it didn’t sound quite right.
When she thought we weren’t looking, she tied knots in her hair.
She wouldn’t eat anything white, hid money in the refrigerator, wore five pairs of underpants at once, cringed at butterflies. She covered her ears when she talked and was afraid of the telephone.
She threw away her plants, collected fruit pits. She stopped biting her fingernails after that, but she wouldn’t let anyone cut them either. She wore a hat, but never a jacket.
Her dog wouldn’t go near her.
She wouldn’t answer the doorbell, but she never closed the door.
She refused to go near the windows.
After that, she never drank tea. She hissed at her dead mother, standing in the doorway.
She ripped her good dress into pieces and cut her father’s photograph in half.
We didn’t know how to think about her after that.
After That is available from Amazon, Small Press Distribution, or the publisher, Tiger Bark Press.
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