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Walking out the door her husband says,
I’ll be back in an hour. He said that last time
After threatening her with violence, she retaliated
With a garden hose, the only ****** weapon within reach.

She turns over the memory of her wedding day looking for red flags,
Remarks to herself how methodical it all was,
Vetting her prospects— a bookish disposition and a stable desk job—
And thinks to herself
It’s a wonder anything came of it at all.

There’s a list of Odds and Ends on the kitchen table.

She closes her eyes to imagine
Ticking boxes on that List of Odds and Ends with a number two pencil,
Three children conducting a bank heist,
On the table a corner reserved for beeswax,
Raspberry jam,
And a bucket of mud.
She laughs to herself.

Some sort of commotion has seized control of the air outside.
Perhaps the children are arguing over
Who holds open the sack, the door, waits outside
Or perhaps they’re coming to collect
The woman wrapped up
In a garden hose, a necklace
Of her own design.

Loaded up on the stretcher, they carry her out, she says
I’ll be back in an hour. The woman next door stands on her stoop,
Clearly she could not have seen this coming.
She forgets her own birthday.
Written from prompt: « She forgot her own birthday. »

— The End —