This Day Forward [poem] by Woodrow Hightower

Justyne is sick of life in a doll house
Bored by the plastic ferns and wicker furniture
“I never wanted to be a dressmaker’s dummy,” she says
She cancels the hair appointment and piano lessons
Walks out the front door to find white beaches
Paint with watercolors, study Cassiopeia and eat black-bottom pie
She vows to drive with the sunroof down, tango till exhausted
And learn how to cut wood with a chainsaw
She wants a boy with burnt-brown skin to know her in the biblical sense
“No one should make my decisions for me” she says
On the interstate, climbing the mountain overlooking town
She takes a call from Richard “where the hell are you?” he says
Justyne imagines a tombstone with her name on it
“Richard you’re breaking up, I’m losing you”
She tosses her cell phone to the back seat
Then wonders why she never before noticed
How small Camellia City looks from the top of Hubbard Pass


Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

[Refer: This story put the editors in mind of the poem “The Lake” by Laurie Kolp.]

Image by Dominic Alves

Woodrow Hightower is a native of West Point California. He is a poet currently producing a first collection of material, loosely titled So Low. His poems and short stories have recently been accepted for publication by The Axe Factory, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Eskimo Pie and Belle Reve Literary Journal. Hightower resides in San Francisco’s Mission District with Twyla Wyoming and two Tibetan spaniels.