Elizabeth Cantonwine Schmidt
The week was hell. You had a flat, your wallet stolen. You’ve lost feeling in your fingers, always a bad sign. The man said $1000 when you thought it’d be $200. You keep sinking, sinking, sinking, connecting one bad number after another. Who knows what you’re drawing? It’s starting to look like a gun. Someone dying seems possible. Maybe you. Or maybe you botched a bank robbery though you don’t remember putting on sunglasses, passing a note. This time tomorrow you’ll be in the paper, your neighbor saying “He was always so quiet.” That’s the way this day is going, like you’re cornered by police with no way out. Your plan is screwed and you’re nervous. What does it matter now if you shoot the banker, the old lady cowering in a chair? They’re on your path, your way, your trajectory for this awful day, the next number in a sick dot-to-dot. Hey, man, you didn’t design this maze; you’re just holding the pen, making the next mark. When the phone rings, it’s Tara. Her voice is soft. She calls you “John.” She knows about your day. She says you still have options.
about the author
Elizabeth Cantonwine Schmidt is a poet, librarian and mother of four. Her poems have been published in Mock Turtle Zine, and read on WYSO’s Conrad’s Corner.