Rolling thunder long and low, rattles
the glass pane in the old front door.
Tattered shingles run free with rain
as wind plays at their corners,
attempting to set them free.
Lightning casts stark shadows
throughout the old dark house.
A rap at the back door and she shuffles
with her light to reveal a stranger
standing in the Autumn storm.
In the warmth of her kitchen
his clothes steam like the hot coffee
she’s offered and drip onto the
bare hardwood floor bereft of
paint, these many long years.
His car he says, is broken down.
He, a salesman of children’s books
for which she has no need, tells
of his many years of travel alone
across the country while she
lived her entire life on this farm.
He asks to use her phone and calls
for a tow while enjoying another
cup of coffee. The truck arrives
and an offer of money is refused.
The company was nice she says.
He thanks her and heads back
into the dark night.
She dowses her light and readies
for bed, and dreams of traveling
the world in a broken down car.