by Niya C. Sisk

That rusty ol' table held the clothespins I used to hang my fiancés jeans. A rickety old clothesline that hung too low to keep the clothes out of the reach of raccoons and dirt.

We lived in a white and mint green trailer in the woods. I was 23. The hanging of the clothes on the line made me feel kind of famous in the eyes of nature — he laid nature's promise as something below his beloved Nietzsche yet above himself. His suspicion of himself — the thing that attracted me to him in the first place, turned to absolutism on any given Sunday.

The table survived five seasons of rain, wind and forest excretions. The creaking of the base still brings back the feeling of waiting.

Too young to spin into what his 37 year world wanted of me. And too old to go back to the providence of childhood rebellion. I hung on the line envying the clarity of rust — real time going by that made real marks. What more could a philosophical girl living in a two toned box in the woods do but wait for the verdict.

To grow up or down?