A Woman's Middle-Age Crisis


The electrician finished screwing
the exhaust fan to the bathroom ceiling.
They sure don’t leave you much room with these wires, he said.
She wasn’t sure what that meant.
I didn’t see any signs of squirrel or mouse up there, he said.
There might be a hole under the roof though. They like to get in
and make their nests there. It’s that time of the year.
Wonderful, she thought. She had been up most of the night listening
to scratching and rustling noises
coming from the closet with the hot water heater. She couldn’t see past
the washing machine though. She put a couple of traps
and some poisoned bait
on the floor in there this morning,
but the sounds continued
until the electrician showed up.
Later, she stared at the holes
around the edges of the fan’s screen.
He had cut a rectangle into the ceiling
though the fan was an oval.
The creature’s clawing and scrabbling began again.
She lived alone. There was no one to call.
She sat on the bed with the lights on,
listening for the sound of a trap springing.




Photo by One Project at a Time


About Author


Patricia Hanahoe-Dosch is an Associate Professor of English at Harrisburg Area Community College, Lancaster campus. She holds an MFA from the University of Arizona. Her poems have been published in Rattle, Confrontation, The Red River Review, San Pedro River Review, Red Ochre Lit, Nervous Breakdown, The Poetry Super Highway, Quantum Poetry Magazine, among others. Her second book of poems, The Wrack Line, was recently published by FutureCycle Press in June 2017.

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