From Issue 14: Housemate

Hilary Sallick
Last night as I sat at the kitchen table
at work on my autobiography      I
glanced up from the chore
of ordering clauses of self            and saw
across the distance of the room
on the worn wood floor at the foot
of the stairs           an insect       watery
creature                 scurrying toward clutter
of shoes and boots under the bench
an inches-long centipede I could recognize
even at a distance       casting its shadow
under the ceiling’s glare
As always           it startled me
I sat fixed in my chair        watching
thinking             soft body
next to nothing                    smudge of wetness
when crushed

How rarely
it braves the light
Surely it must have
a purpose
Hilary Sallick‘s poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, the Aurorean, Atlanta Review, Salamander, and elsewhere. Her chapbook Winter Roses is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. She is an adult literacy teacher in Somerville, MA, and vice-president of the New England Poetry Club.