KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Prose Poem: 129 words

Shades of Gray: Waiting Room, Calumet

by Elizabeth Kerlikowske

The three visitors sit with their backs to each other to minimize conversation and eye contact. The girl with the pony tail is a regular and assumes the proper position in the straight back chair. Goosebumps march up her arms in the too-cold. The woman in an oddly revealing halter dress practices chair yoga, eagle pose as spirit tiddlywinks orbit around her. The man isn’t sure she is really there. He is really there, watching a TV that never goes off, playing programs no one wants to see: Preventing Periodontal Disease; Caring for your Artificial Limb. He is the kind of man who doesn’t know to take his hat off inside but who brings a single rose bud to his mother in prison.


Painting: Shades of Grey, by Mary Hatch

Shades of Grey
Painting, oil on linen
Copyright © by Mary Hatch. All rights reserved.

—Reproduced from with artist’s permission


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