Night Song for Diana Oliver


empty space inside old refrigerator no one else

in garage refrigerator empty space lonely

door open she felt sorry when she looked inside

space seemed to say I'm just like you

come be my friend I won't hurt you

when she pulled the door shut

after she climbed inside

didn't realize catch had caught

space coiled around her

dark space crawled inside her lonely

space filled her empty


when she peers into gloom refrigerator

door open her sister over at Jimmy's her parents

watch television outside tall shadows

blot out sunset but sprinklers still spraying

thin mist rainbows on Mr. Martin's lawn she's not

supposed to play in garage

curled up inside tries to fall asleep

can hear nothing


but unknown men women long since dead

made this space in the noise of some

obsolete factory somewhere in a low wage state

when old Kelvinator white new enticed

her mother so much her father forced

to buy it immediately her older sister always

robbing it after school her father downstairs late

at night to raid old Kelvinator until one day

her mother commanded too small not enough room

for whole family so old faithful had to go

her father Jimmy's father brother Uncle Hank

hauled it out to garage father tried to give it

to Salvation Army but they never came to pick it up


when the door refuses to open she thought

she had simply fallen asleep curled up in her own bed

just a nightmare she would wake up soon

sister must be asleep in the next bed if she listened

closely she'd be able to hear her sister breathing

just a bad dream terrified wake up tell her sister

wake up pretty soon now make sure

pinch herself awake

open eyes still dark pinch again no dream


trapped inside confined closed-off encapsulated

afraid of dark space she could do nothing no way out

could not move going to die inside

this small space.


she moved wildly inside confined space pushed

against all sides at once tried to break

something open tip over refrigerator

break lock loose but nothing

moved screaming for her sister

screaming for anyone

but no one came when she could no longer scream

 cry when she could no longer cry gasp deep dry

aching sobs she could not stop pray plead to God

to open the door let her outside

promised she would always

be a good girl nothing happened

no one came

cursed God

her sister her parents the space

fought desperately to move

could no longer breathe

could not breathe

could not die

was dead

and then she died