Friday, work at home day

You’re supposed to be in the next room.

It’s Friday, work at home day. We’re supposed to chatter back and forth all day, you in your office across the hall, me in mine.

But it’s silent.

I can’t hear your big fingers clacking away at the keyboard – the fastest hunt and peck typing I’ve ever heard.
I can’t hear you groan when your knees creak as you stand, or groan again as you plunk back down into your office chair.
I can’t hear you yell, “Kitty, shut up!” as she whines for no reason. Or hear you finally succumb to her plaintive cries and open the back door, only to slam it again with a loud curse (Stupid head!) when she simply stares outside at the yard.

You aren’t asking if I want you to make me some breakfast.
You aren’t asking, “What’s on the agenda for today?”
You aren’t there.

You’re supposed to be in the next room.


About the author

Katherine Billings Palmer is a technical writer, poet, and essayist from Garden City, Michigan. She’s won several academic writing awards, including first place in the University of Michigan Dearborn Critical Essay Contest for her work about poet John Donne: “‘The Sun Rising’: A Lover’s Boast.”

In 2017, Katherine’s husband, Rick, died of complications from small cell lung cancer. She wrote a series of poems and essays about her struggles to cope with her grief. I Wanted to Grow Old With You is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

Her latest book, A Widow’s Words: Grief, Reflection, Prose, and Poetry – The First Year was published in January 2019 and is also available on

Katherine is a guest blogger for the Hope for Widows Foundation and writes about her grief journey at

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