"Nervous" by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

A man came to the door

and I was nervous.


I could tell he didn’t want to kill or maim me.


The man had a package

and a thing for me to sign,

but there was a problem.


He said it was C.O.D. and I had to pay him $18.30.

I told him I didn’t have any money.


Now the man looked nervous.

I think he knew I didn’t intend to kill or maim him.

But he chose his words more carefully when he spoke.

Stepped back from the door.


He said he could come back tomorrow with the package.

I told him that would be fine.

I told him I would have the money when I wouldn’t.

Just to make him go away.


But the feeling stayed with me

for some time after



I felt ill.

Knowing the man would be back tomorrow.

That I would not sleep a wink.

That the doorbell would go.

"A Question of Power" by Ryan Quinn Flanagan


When the power goes out

I usually have a few flickers of the lights

before the darkness.


Then I run to the window

to see if everyone is without power.

We run on two separate grids here,

so the next street over can have power

when you do not and vice versa.


Which is quite strange.

I have never lived in another place

that does that.


And when they have power and I do not,

I get angry at them as though they

have conspired with the hydro company

to thwart me in some way.


When I have power and they do not,

I think to myself: well hey, that’s just

bad luck.


And I can see the absurdity in that.

The 1,000 pounds of prejudice involved.

You don’t blame all the world’s travel agents

for a crashed plane.


But somehow,

I do.