Claudia Grinnell


They boarded up the house in October, to get ready
for five months of winter.  They nailed planks
over their only window, it was the one concession
he had made to light.  Sometimes they even opened
the curtain a little, and once, during the total eclipse,
they had stood by the window with binoculars and watched
the passing dark. She told him that shadows were responsible
for this.  The thought made both happy. Winter was always
hard for them; they knew this was the time the rattlers
and water moccasins crawled toward their house, this was
the time when other people visited them, nodded, asked
"So this is your life" -- these people never stayed long although
the house was warm and the food plentiful.  By November
the usual horde had passed through and they were alone
again in the bell-shaped curve of their good fortune.

Location: Monroe, Louisiana
Occupation: Director, CASS/English Writing Center
Publications: Exquisite Corpse, New Orleans Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Minnesota Review, River Oak Review, etc.
Book: Conditions Horizontal
Awards: Southern Women Writers Emerging Poet Award (2001)

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