Linda Wojtowick is a writer from Montana now living in Portland, Oregon. Her current project is a collection based around the theme of animal, vegetable, mineral, wherein poem takes its name from a famous racehorse, a type of tomato strain, or a mineral. Off the Coast recently nominated her poem “Mr. Stripey” for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has also appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, The American Aesthetic, Unbroken, Clementine Poetry Journal, The Prompt, Minetta Review, Ink In Thirds, The Communal Table, Aberration Labyrinth, and The Slag Review.
was no good. His windows a particle graveyard.
His garden a stone. Once I tried
talking to him and I did notice the way
his hair was lank, no steady rhythm
to his breath. I thought of ten infidelities
that day in his inherited house. Hank, I said.
Where are they, your parents, where has
everyone gone? He smiled, rolled
like a sick engine on the couch.
The Governor’s daughter gave him a boat.
It rots in the cattails. But that’s how time
will pass until something happens to him.
We laugh with our husbands, but Hank
gets something else. He takes all of our gifts.
What I see most now besides my nightmare gratitude
is our collective reluctance to change, to be angry.
Or if we are it’s the lesser voice, the runt.
We walk, sleep, watch the news, cut our throats.
Hank stares at the hens pummeling the yard.
He cannot care for them so they tear through
the ambitious weeds. The mailbox chokes
on bills and candy hearts. Under a reckless moon
his boot laces drag with neglect. One wants
to say with abandon, but it is wrong.