January 1, 2015


John Sierpinski is a working writer at the Vest Conservatory for Writers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He has recently published in California Quarterly, North Coast Review, and Icon.  He has been nominated for the 2013 Pushcart Prize. He is currently working on a collection.

Green Awning

On a cold March morning,
in the pale, yellow sun, I stand
at the door of the brick, ranch
house.  Green canvas awnings
hang over each front window.
After several minutes I try

the door, and let myself in.  I  
feel sure everyone has left
for the day.  My wrinkled shirt,
pants, mismatched socks, and untied
shoes, attest to my rush to leave my
own home.  The door behind shuts

out the punch of cold wind.  Inside
all the wood trim is varnished as blond
as the big wood console in the living
room or as blond as my playmate’s
mother with her peroxide hair.  In
the big glass ashtray on the coffee

table in front of the couch, crushed
Kent “Micronite” filters have partially
burned to gray ash.  A pure white
cup is adorned with perfect red lip
prints.  Down a long, shiny hallway
I find the master bedroom with its bare,

waxed floor (even the wood knots
shine).  A brown, oval rug lies at the
foot of the bed.  A ray of suspended
dust caps my decision to curl up
at the foot of that bed.  I stare at the clear,
polished dresser with the S shaped lamp

on top.  I feel sleepy.  Then I hear
the crack.  A shrinking rafter?  Wind
on glass?  I hold my breath,
one thousand ten.  Then release
a thin stream with the thought,
“I have my own work to do.”  

Awake in the late afternoon
light I hear the door click, open

and close.  Footsteps in the kitchen.
I slip back.  Then someone steps
toward me.  “John,” a woman’s voice
says, “Is that you?”

~John Sierpinski

Total Pageviews