Loretta, the cleaning woman, went at the picture window in the living room with a bottle of Windex, wiping in hard slashes. She always makes faces while she cleans, as if we live like animals on the days she doesn’t come. When she was finished, she dusted her hands off and said, “I don’t think I can get this house no cleaner, Mrs. T.,” like that’s my fault.

I asked her once how she liked her work. She looked at me like I was asking how many men she’d been with. All I wanted to know was how she got into the cleaning business, whether she chose it or life chose for her, because I think Sherry could do work like that when she gets out.

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A publication by Northern Arizona University's MFA Program