Gloria returned from college registration counting the days before night school began. To save for tuition a tight budget was kept. Always bring lunch to work...a sandwich and some fruit packed in a brown bag. She walked thirty blocks rather than splurge on another subway fare. Squeezing all her clothes in one washing machine and dragging half wet laundry home cut expenses too.
Stopping in front of her apartment house, she wondered if it would be possible for her to ever leave this place. A whimsical boiler sometimes broke. Mud brown hallways eliminated any need for new coats of paint. If you pressed the up and down button simultaneously, the elevator came unless it was completely broken. Ping pong water dripping from the basement sink. The familiar cacophony of heat rising through the stairway hissing along walls echoed through the apartment building. Windows rattled as Gloria undressed for bed.
A small assignment pad and large spiral note book lay on her nightstand. Over and over fingering white pages, waiting to press her thoughts upon them. Every sheet must be filled with knowledge written in beautiful script. Listening to the clock softly tick in the dark, she waited as if on the edge of something. The glossy cover of her note book fell shut.
Mahogany doors were decorated with wooden carvings. Gloria pushed a brass handle to open them. She watched her dream self in silk dress glide effortlessly, her fingertips touching a butternut desk. Oriental rugs covered floors. Stopping for a moment, she saw a large rose colored room lined with leather-bound books. All the titles were leafed in gold. Her library so elegant with deep couches and tiffany lamps...she had pushed the brass handle to open it.
Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Camel Saloon, Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, and included in Bright Hills Press, Kind of A Hurricane and Poppy Road Anthologies. She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net. Poet and Geek recognized her work as their best poem of 2013. Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses and she has three e-book titles.