by Diane Gilliam Fisher

Let it finally be Friday, let me drive
downtown before five, park in the one
space left open in front and feed the meter
the exact change it needs. Let me go into the office,
sit and nod, unfold my check on the table
and sign. Let the line not be dotted, let it
be solid. Let it be my name.
Let it be final.

Let me pull into the driveway while
it is still light. It’s well past five and well
into October and they are just about
to change the time. Saturday night
on the local news they’ll remind
us all to Fall Back, but I make it in
under the wire. There is still light.
There is still time.

I am up the back porch steps, under
the awning, my hand on the back door lock
the realtor left on. Let me remember rightly
the numbers he gave me. Let this not be the dream
of the high school locker with the Master Lock
whose combination you forgot or fumbled, turning
too fast, going too far, everything you’d locked up
irretrievable, lost.
Let the lock fall open, let me leave it
on the steps for the realtor to pick up.
Let him pull up the flimsy stakes
of the sign in the yard that says I can be bought,
let him drive away. Let no Master
enter through my door.

Let the house be a disaster, I don’t care.
Let the smoke-framed blanks where another
woman’s pictures marked the wall be the story
of how my edges caught fire and the ash at last
let me see where I stood. Let the cracked
kitchen floor make a map to teach me
where not to step, how not to fall through
and break my very own back.
Let the broken window be a way out,
the broken door a way in. Let me go
to the hardware store and buy the tools
to take the chain off the bedroom door,
let me paint the bathroom pink without asking,
walk naked and unafraid through all my rooms.

Let me pick up a broom and sweep
nothing under the rug. Let me sweep it all
into the light. Let me do it. Let there be time.
Let there be light.

Last updated May 24, 2019