Eleven Minutes, of Course

From the book published in 2021, And Don’t Come Back.

Eleven Minutes, of Course

Eleven minutes left
until the dryer’s done
the coffee is made
the cake is out of the oven
the sheriff’s car pulls up to the neighbor’s house
by which time they are no longer home.
Eleven minutes left
before the cat comes downstairs
the package is left on the doorstep
the telephone rings with the news
about the neighbors
by which time
what? Wait eleven minutes and see.


11 thoughts on “Eleven Minutes, of Course

    • I was thinking about an incident probably 30 years ago when I glanced out the window and saw the sheriff car pull up to the neighbors. Don’t know why but had my suspicions. Eleven to me is a number that’s not an instant but enough to build anticipation. I like the eleventh hour idea and.

        • Yes, I have always had favorite numbers and numbers that are better and others that are not. I find myself in my artwork, if I need to have say, a number of flowers, I choose the right number for the piece (there is always a right number but not the same piece to piece). But 3, 19, and 11 are always good. I know it sounds weird, but I’ve always used numbers as guides in this way. I think it’s a pattern kind of thing I see in my head. And then there are my favorite letters and words…

        • I see words in my head, but not numbers. It doesn’t sound weird. My kids and I all have some synesthesia. It drives our spouses crazy when we start talking about it. 🤣

  1. There’s a real sense of tension building and intrigue in this poem. I also like that sense of the narrator and whoever is on the phone being perfectly prepared for whatever neighbourhood drama is about to unfold.

    • Thank you. There are elements drawn from a memory (the sheriff visiting the neighbors) and the rest of course from the mundane, but, I always feel the presence of something about to happen in my daily life (I guess that is my various anxieties speaking up) and the sense of anticipation of it, even when things seem smooth…and these days I try to focus on the idea that it’s not just bad things that happen! But this poem is not that way, it’s describing something a little ominous, and yet…exciting???

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