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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Micro-CNF: 179 words
By Dotty LeMieux

The Night the Bathroom Ceiling Collapsed


After Jane and I had lived in the Grove Street apartment only a few months, the bathroom ceiling collapsed in the middle of the night. Dust, and ceiling dirt and mysterious slivers of black, floated through the air, landing on our heads, embedding in nightclothes, hair, skin.

Jane and I were soon running down the 2 a.m. winter hill to Mass General, screaming: The bathroom ceiling collapsed! Two young women crazed in nightgowns, shouting: We have lice! At the hospital, orderlies seemed to avoid us. Doctors kept their distance. There was plenty of drama to keep us occupied as we waited on hard plastic benches. Overdoses, scalded children, heart-attack old men, death and disease. Who were we to complain, underprivileged on purpose?

Finally, a large nurse appeared over us, unsmiling, and said: You can’t get lice from a bathroom ceiling, then sent us back out into the Boston never-silent night. No one paid any attention to barefoot, head-scratching, nighttime City girls, wandering up the wrong side of Beacon Hill, cold and footsore.

Dotty LeMieux
Issue 23 (April 2024)

writes both poetry and poetic memoir. She has five chapbooks published, including two during the pandemic: Viruses, Guns and War (Main Street Rag, 2023) and Henceforth I Ask Not Good Fortune (Finishing Line Press, 2021). Her writing has appeared in numerous print and online journals such as Gyroscope, MacQueen’s Quinterly, The Poeming Pigeon, Poets Reading the News, Rise Up Review, and Writers Resist, among others.

MacQueen’s Quinterly nominated her CNF Spring Trip to Mazatlán for Best of the Net 2024.

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