your sister told you to face 

the wall & count to 300, 

hear the rain-patter steps

scurry off & mark the direction

they fall—always listening

for the pace of things.


you drum a beat in hundreds,

forget your place as you watch

the window's shadow on the yellow

dry-wall, call it good & stretch

your legs, cool tile on your feet.


the house feels empty & silent & you think 

this is what is must be like to grow 

& live on you own, to poke your head 

into every room & see empty seats.

you wonder if you could press 

yourself into the afternoon, take a nap there


but there are eyes watching you— 

behind the pillow, behind the beach

towels, behind the dresses

in your mom's closet & through

the gaps in the door,

all the warm corners are taken.


your sister tells you it's your job to seek,

to rid the home of hiding. you hear

the wind loosen creaks in the wall,

shoulders tense at a swinging door,

& sit back to down to recount.

Oh, My Word! Olivia would love to hear from you after reading this poem. Leave a comment below!

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Oh, My Word! is a weekly updated blog featuring fiction, poetry, drama, and essays for the world. #OhMyWordWednesday

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Hello! I am a poet and essayist who sometimes likes to share her work with the world! I am currently an English major at the University of Iowa and write as often as I can (when not spiraling into the black voids of the internet).

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