What if the one-legged tenant in the upstairs apartment
drops his boot with a thump and there you are staring
at the ceiling, waiting, because you never bothered to learn
who lives above, below, or about any neighbor, for that matter,
and you are waiting for something that’s not going to happen,
and you are missing out on meeting a really good person,
but no, not you, with your negative expectation
and lurid imagination, you insist on reading the worst
in the paint’s imperfections, in the shadows and cracks,
and you persist in believing doom follows gloom
as night follows day and there you are waiting...
Nancy Harris McLelland taught creative writing, composition, and literature for over twenty years and Conducted writing workshops for the Western Folklife Center, Great Basin College , and the Great Basin Writing Project . An Elko County native with a background in ranching. McLelland has presented her "Poems from Tuscarora" Both at daytime and evening events at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko. Her essay, "Border Lands: Cowboy Poetry and the Literary Canon" is in the anthology Cowboy Poetry Matters .