Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Michael McClintock: THE FACE ON THE FLOOR

The only time I saw her face in twenty years as her neighbor was on that one day in October when she failed to retrieve the morning newspaper from her doorstep and I with two other neighbors opened her front door—it wasn't locked—after knocking and ringing her doorbell, getting no response, and found her dead but still warm in a simple flower print house dress on her living room floor with her blue eyes open and her small, delicate arms and hands flung outward in a gesture of surprise and rapture. I stood gazing at her face the full hour it took for the coroner to arrive and place her on a gurney and unfold a clean sheet over her entire length—covering that face which was one of the most beautiful and perfectly guileless and unforgettable I have ever seen.

heavy drapes,
a carefully-made bed—
a life like that

by Michael McClintock
Fresno, California
first published in Anthology of Days (Backwoods Broadsides, No. 70)

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