By the time I got back, he had lined up
words on the window still, sideways, as if
they were books in a library. If I
wished to understand what he wanted to
say, I had to read them one at a time
in reverse chronological order.
Then there was the problem of the way he
slept, throwing himself onto a bed, a
couch, into a recliner chair, or on
to the carpeted floor without a word,
no suggestion of a plan. What would he
do when he awoke? Check the words at the
window. How did he spend his time? Turning
household items into something else—the
clothespin into a clip for a stuffed frog’s
dress, old batteries into fishing weights,
upturned laundry baskets into cages
for cats. He answered the phone, then hung up
on the caller, deleted most of the
pictures save the ones featuring him in
the foreground. Forget the lawn ornaments
and the overgrown flowerbed, filled with
grass which has gone to seed! I meant to tell
you of at least one lovely moment, how
when he first woke was the only time he
looked into my eyes. How I could see his
spirit in the black light of his pupils
before he understood he was awake.

Sandra Kolankiewicz ‘s poems have appeared widely, most recently in Galway Review, One, Otis Nebulae, Trampset, Concho River Review, London Magazine, New World Writing and Appalachian Heritage. Turning Inside Out was published by Black Lawrence. Finishing Line has released The Way You Will Go and Lost in Transition.