When the truck arrives, only one person should be out there to greet it. More than one person, and directions for backing up get muddled and someone could get smooshed. The one person who does the greeting must be efficient and clear with their hand movements. This is no time to be practicing high-fives or flipping off the neighbor’s cow. If someone else shows up while the one person is doing the greeting, that someone should be ignored. If not encouraged, they might leave of their own accord.

I wish that were the case.

She appeared beside the truck that morning, right in the middle of things. I had to use my most emphatic gestures in order for her to be spared. She leaned on the fence rail, her coat missing, while I finished my job. The cow stayed next to the barn, looking at the ground as it rubbed against the siding. The woman had left her car at the place where our road intersects with the main one. She knew the baby was coming soon because she’d had some before. She said she was afraid to drive with all that was happening to her body. Finally, she offered money.

Under us, her car’s tires slid on the newly iced road.

Driving, the woman clutched my shoulder. We plowed into the concrete pillar outside the emergency room entrance, but the seat belt kept her in place. She took her money from my twisted body before she got out of the crash. She said her baby was going to need it. Thanks.

Anji Reyner graduated from the University of Montana and Goddard College. Her poems and stories have appeared at elimae, No Tell Motel, Titular, Pear Noir!, Front Porch, and Action, Yes. She currently lives in upstate Idaho, overlooking Lake Pend Oreille.