Issue 28 | Fall 2021

At the Holiday Inn

The room was crooked, somehow not a rectangle. 
The bed seemed a wedge in space too small.
There was a chair my mother sat in, then my father. 
We watched cartoons on the TV.
We waited for my husband to make arrangements
with the dead body. I sat on the bed after a bath
with matted hair. 
After parents left, we rocked hard
against black silence. 
The white ceiling,
misshapen, crushed us.
Some heavy burden, some guilt-like presence 
pushed us to sleep.
I woke with a wet pillow and hair tangled,
I didn’t care.  
It was Sunday. 
The insignificance of death in relation to it all
sinks in as children yelled in the halls—you see,
it was Sunday morning
and they were free. 

Filed under: Poetry

Sarah Lilius is the author of five chapbooks, including GIRL (dancing girl press, 2017) and Traffic Girl (Ghost City Press, 2020). A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, her poetry appears or is forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, New South, Boulevard, Fourteen Hills, and elsewhere. Her website can be found at