She forces herself
to listen, not insert
her words into the space
between his words
even though she knows
all he is about to say.
She excels in précis,
not in patience
yet here she sits, silent,
on a junco at the window—
the way it moves its tail
in sharp quick flicks.
Sometimes It Matters
She had always been a poor speller—
not that she was unintelligent
but the way letters fit together
to form something
larger than themselves
never seemed important
until one day. . .
she learns to spell it
He didn't know
he'd wait for her on Fridays
outside the salon, to see sunlight
bouncing off her new curls. He didn't know
he'd hear her singing when the lilacs bloomed
or that he'd miss the tap tap tapping
of her pencil as she searched for nine letters
to spell out Be my guest. He didn't know
how many loads of wash she did each week.
Or where to buy steel-cut oats. Or that
a dry martini for one wasn't nearly as much fun.
He didn't know a hole in a spider's web
could make him weep. Or that
one white bowl and pewter spoon
would look so lonely in the kitchen sink.
H.T. West hates writing bios but has had work published in various print and online journals and anthologies, including flashquake and 2River View.