[Inspired by Adem’s “Ringing in My Ear”:]
The hot breeze snuck in through the window,
billowing the lace curtain so that it waved and flapped,
domestic symbol of white flag peace offering;
of surrender to the “facts” put forth earlier.
What truths they were. Her frustrations were taken out
on the dishes submerged in soapy water at the mercy of
her angry scrubbing. A bead of sweat began
a slow, intimate descent down her neck. She wiped
a wetter hand across the spot, smearing suds
and the red dust that cloyed to everything
into the collar of her dress, curling the hair escaped
from her bun into ringlets at the end. Not long till he’d be back.
The fly’s buzzing returned to her senses, thoughts
calming from initial rage. She dried her hands
on the soiled tea cloth, eyes straying to the view beyond
the grimy glass: endless, this burned horizon, populated
by black trees and the blacker souls of its people.
A wasteland of forgotten hopes and shattered dreams.
She turned away, seeking comfort in broken ice
swimming in strong liquor, running the cool glass over
her forehead as the beverage did its work. The dog barked
as the truck rumbled up to the house. Door slammed
less violently than when he’d left. She waited,
back facing his entrance. She smiled,
rough hands encircling her waist, soothing her heart.
[Copyright N R Nolan © 2015]