What poverty looks like

All I hear is the rotting porch creaking from the wind.

“It’s the right thing to do,” I say over and over while pulling open the screen door that has more holes than a liar’s tale.

The house is crowded with litter. I step over a broken radio with its back unscrewed, a screwdriver next to it. The one chair in the tiny sitting room lies on its side, wood glue next to its broken leg. Papers torn from a Big Chief tablet, marked with music notes, are scattered across the floor. A tattered pillow sits on a mattress in the corner. Beside it, Frank’s harmonica. I picture Frank sleeping here. My eyes get watery.

The kitchen smells like the sandwich I made Frank – moldy and spoiled. Plates and bowls are caked and crusted with old food.

I walk the few steps to her bedroom. The door is open. I concentrate on the body beneath the covers and see the slight rise and fall of the life underneath.

Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket

Daily Word Prompt: Paper

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