Before by Susan Sanders

The gun slides back in the drawer
the phone rang and I thought
my daughter was still alive, stranded
on the side of the road with a busted
timing belt except there was no sound
on the other end of the line.

The gun slides back in the drawer
and the edges of frosty windows
had nothing to hold but a grudge
against winter’s cold.
Each night felt too black as
every window blinked back.

The gun slides back in the drawer
before my daughter walked
into the woods, a handgun
slung low on her thigh
too tired to make a reasonable
decision about living her life.

The gun slides back in the drawer

and I look out the door before
my only daughter calls collect
from some cosmic pay phone,
I grab the keys and drive her home.

Susan Sanders
Susan_Sanders-100_1346Susan Sanders has been published in several literary journals since 1980. At night, she teaches English classes to non-traditional students.
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