Rhea Rose's poem, "Toast," was originally published in Short Edition’s August '19 Rendez-Vous. Rhea of Vancouver, BC has published many short speculative fiction stories and poetry pieces. She has been nominated 3 times for the Canadian Aurora Award, for a Rhysling award, and more. She is a teacher of creative writing and runs RainWood Press. Find her at www.rhearose.weebly.com and twitter: @rhearose1

Image of General Submissions - Rendez-Vous, August 2019 issue

The girl upstairs doesn't know
How old I am.
I mean old old old
I don't know either, 
I sit in my chair all day.
Forever I have lived in this chair.
I stare at the tree across the street.
The lawn needs cutting.
I smell the toast that young girl
Makes, toast in the toaster.
I know her footstep on the floor.
I hear her in the morning.
She eats toast all day, all day.

At night she runs a bath,
Never washes the tub,
I never hear her wash the tub.
She came down here once, locked
Herself out of her room on the roof.
Had to sneak through here—old folks 
Land—to get up and in.

She looked like Gretel in the house of old
Gingerbread women; if she came near me I would bite her. 
She probably tastes juicy. 
She didn't like to see this nursery of old old old babies.
Her eyes darted—down left right—but I saw her stare at my
Whiskers, oh, yes, little girl, we become animals
When we age, we grow whiskers and horns and 
Bend to all fours, this is your future, sugar plum.

Oh, shit, she's burned the toast again.
It's gonna be a good day.
The firemen arrive
When she burns the toast.

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