in her bedroom
The bed she once shared with her sister was pushed against the wall. We were told we were lucky to see her sister’s pearl gray wedding gown laid out on the bed cover. She would never marry, would never want to. There were two desks in the room. One desk was formal and heavy, A piece of furniture. The other was a small semi-circle mounted to the wall by her father. A plank of painted wood. A simple chair and inkwell. Her sister painted a mural on the side wall. Calla lilies against a black background. Two windows looking out onto the street flanked where she sat for 14 to 16 hours a day writing. She taught herself to work ambidextrously so that she could sustain her pace. Her thumb, she said, was useless, numb from gripping the pen. She would not die there.