Her make-up was perfect, hair styled,
sprayed lightly into place,
outfit laid out days earlier—
kitten heels, brown wool skirt,
rust-colored cashmere sweater fully accessorized
with matinee length chocolate pearls
and matching button earrings. Legal documents
were sorted into stacks
with detailed written instructions
and several good-bye notes.
As a nurse she understood diagnosis, prognosis,
understood placement precisely,
positioned the gun,
pulled the trigger with her thumb.
Ann Howells' work has recently appeared in Crannog (Ire), San Pedro River Review, and Spillway, among others. She's edited Illya's Honey since 1999, recently going digital. Her recent books: Under a Lone Star (Village Books Press), Cattlemen and Cadillacs, anthology of DFW poets which she edited (Dallas Poets Community Press), and a chapbook, Softly Beating Wings, which won the William D. Barney Contest for 2017 (Blackbead Books).