Soon the house was overgrown
and potted plants. But she was happy,
“Get a job, wife,”
the husband said on the seventh day.
The woman, who recently lost
a long career,
did not want office work.
She watered the flowers
in her swimsuit.
On the fortieth day the husband carried
a briefcase and his eyes sagged.
A small boy, their child,
danced around his mother. The woman said,
“I’ll get some work-from-home work.” She smiled
and resumed her wall-sized painting,
a yellow and blue tropical island. The boy
laughed and chased his pet lizard.
A black cat no one knew about
chased the boy.
Faxes came from overseas.
She sold her paintings, took trips to the post office.
The house frayed bright with paperwork, colors, paints,
and toys. When the husband tried to watch television,
the recliner broke. The television broke also.
The cracks in the walls began to give
and a little rain seeped in. The air grew humid.
When more money came in, they ordered the statue of a lion
just because they liked it.
On the hundredth day, the man said,
“All this nature taking over. House
falling apart. There will be just one wall standing
when this room caves in. And when it does?”
And the woman laughed and said,
We will dance and play by the wall in the sun.
Heather Sager grew up in rural Minnesota and lives in Illinois. She has contributed to nearly fifty literary journals. Her poems have most recently appeared in CircleShow, Northwest Indiana, Cacti Fur, Ariel Chart, Hypnopomp, Umbrella Factory, Nightingale & Sparrow, Third Wednesday, Alba, Mantis, and other wonderful venues; her poetry is also forthcoming in Remington Review. Heather also writes short fiction, and her stories can be found in various print and online journals.