The man is sitting in a white plastic lawn chair
on the side of the highway, wearing a ball cap, aviators
and khaki shorts. Lounging, one leg propped up.
Looking very relaxed,
to tell you the truth.
Holding a white sign with black letters:
“Jesus says the end is near.”
I watch him in the rear view after driving by.
I wonder how long he’ll sit there. I wonder
who he’s trying to save.
Something touches my cheek, probably a stray hair.
I try to brush the feeling away. It moves to my chin
and I look in the mirror.
A small brown spider drops from my face onto the seat
beside me. It takes everything
to stop myself from killing it.
Sometimes mercy is nothing more than restraint.
Visit JANELLE RAINER’s authors page
Visit JANELLE RAINER’s website featuring her paintings
Submit your work to Cacti Fur: cactifur.com/submit