Window Treatment

by | Aug 15, 2023 | Poetry

Close-up shot of window blinds, open to the grass outside them.

I lie in bed and try to understand the vertical blinds—
the way the vinyl slats glide and pivot
in their steel track, gears turning in axels to filter light
or else to block it.

Such fragile engineering, a complicated marriage
of pull and release, and when a clip or a spacer goes awry,
the sneer of taut cables and the thwap of plastic
against glass. Muffled cries, abrupt detachments,
and a clatter of fractured blades. The moon
crashing on my floor.

Rattling in her grave, my mother rails and derides me—
Where’s your screwdriver? Can’t you do something
about your father?
— while his teetering ghost
fumbles with the cord.

Photo by waferboard, used and adapted under CC.

About The Author


Jackie Craven writes poetry and prose steeped in magical realism. Her new collection, WHISH, won the Press 53 Award for Poetry. Other publications include Secret Formulas & Techniques of the Masters (Brick Road Poetry Press) and two chapbooks, Cyborg Sister (Headmistress Press) and Our Lives Become Unmanageable (Omnidawn award for fabulist fiction). Her poems appear in AGNI, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Massachusetts Review, New Ohio Review, Pleiades, Ploughshares and other journals and anthologies. After completing a Doctor of Arts from the English Department at UAlbany, she worked for many years as a journalist covering architecture, art, and travel. She lives in Schenectady, NY, where she hosts a long-standing open mic for writers. Find her at