I don’t mean to listen,
can’t help but overhear.
I’m just the help tidying up.
The daughter’s strained whispers
are as desperate as wind across the plains.
I hear her pleading with him to repent,
please dad and
it’s not too late—hear
her dying father’s gruff,
you know I don’t believe in that crap
and leave me be.
The furnace turns on, drowns out the rest.
When I pass by the sick room
on the way out with my bucket
and rags, he is sleeping.
His daughter has gone.
He looks like a saved man to me,
the way the afternoon light
caresses one bare foot exposed
at the edge of the sheets, the way
the windmill across the dusty yard
spins, turning and turning
in spite of itself,
the leaves in the trees
not moving at all.
Gina Williams lives and creates in the Pacific Northwest. Her poetry, essays, and visual art have been featured by or are forthcoming most recently in Carve, The Sun, Fugue, Palooka, Boiler Journal, Whidbey Art Gallery, Black Box Gallery, and Great Weather for Media, among others.