The road is a door beckoning
and she, clothed in yellow, can not sit still.
I’ll be gone for some time.
The words spill out before she can hide them
behind a bland face and stable eyes.
Somehow the walls know.
They refuse her care–the dusting,
the whitewash and apricot stain.
Clothing whispers in the closet:
the muffled ting of hanger upon hanger
as the knowledge passes from dress
to jacket, gown to jeans.
Even the lattice work on the screen door
pushes her across the lawn, reading the intent limned
in the arc of her shoulders.
Her bare feet move past the wild
blooming lavender roses and the front gate,
past the car, its engine knocking warmly.
Brenda Joyce Patterson (brendajoycepatterson.com) is a poet and essayist. She was a co-editor of the international literary magazine, Onionhead. “Let It Go,” her flash fiction, appeared in the December 2014 issue of Gravel Magazine. She co-authored (with Suzanne Roth) the artist book, Soothsaying (2006), which is permanently housed in the Bienes Center for the Literary Arts in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Her travel essay, “The Kindness of Strangers,” was published in Go Girl: The Black Woman’s Guide to Travel and Adventure (Eighth Mountain Press, 1997). She studied poetry under Peter Meinke, Lola Haskins and Nicholas Samaras.