They took away our windows for two weeks,
ripped them from kitchen walls with wonder bars,
then nailed up sheets of chipboard, while we waited
for new windows to be manufactured
in a long steel building somewhere east of Trenton.
It was never really cold or hot inside, just dark,
just really dark; the place stayed dry
and we had fun one night shooting
insulating foam into the cracks before a massive
cold front blew across the Appalachians,
but even then the dark was working on us.
We had one trouble light, a single bulb
that sat inside an orange cage, suspended
from a hook above the pantry door. That,
and the TV’s nervous blue light, flashing
its parade of hooded men in orange jumpsuits,
bound and kneeling down on both sides
of the ocean: that was our illumination.
The windows came in, insulated, thermo-
paned, their sashes riding oiled blue sliders
like a guillotine. Light came through them,
made our canary hearts swing wide inside
their cages, but after so much dark,
we could not shake our boxed-in
bitterness: our view was not the same.Hayden Saunier’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Drunken Boat, 5 A.M., Rattle, and Philadelphia Stories, among others. A 2008 Pushcart Prize nominee, her first book of poetry, Tips for Domestic Travel, is due out from Black Lawrence Press in 2009.

Leave a Reply