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William Miller

A Trailer in the Woods

She worked the late shift at the Jr. Food Mart

on the Mississippi State line.  All night,

standing on bad feet, a .38 on her hip,

banging a cash register for minimum wage,

my grandmother never complained.


Finally, she had her own place—a Nomad

trailer salvaged from her third marriage

in the deepest woods she could find,

pines thick and standing in all directions.

No more men, she vowed, no more broken jaws,


fingers turning blue after she was beaten 

then locked out in the snow.  A woman

who lived alone was easy prey but not her.

Nothing made her happier than three beers

drunk at the kitchen table, walking outside


before the sun came up and firing her pistol

into the raw morning air.  She let them know

a woman’s trailer was a castle too, that cordite

smelled better than perfume.  She loudly 

told them all she was still alive.



William Miller's eighth collection of poetry, The Crow Flew Between Us, was published by Kelsay Books in 2019.  His poems have appeared in The Penn Review, The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner and Folio.  He lives and writes in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Bear Review


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