I refinish fine furniture carefully, at a good price. My specialty is wardrobes. Early on I advertised, but now it’s all word of mouth. Because I work on site, I invented a nontoxic stripping agent that smells like cinnamon and basil. When I was a child, we didn’t have real furniture. We had veneer-topped particleboard. We had a falling-down house with snuffling kids, cold, noise, dirt, a thieving father who drank and hit, and a mother who should’ve left him but couldn’t or didn’t. I did okay in school, but what I liked best was reading fairy tales. In my favorite, a child taps on the back wall of a closet and steps into another world. One day I will step inside a wardrobe that looks like any other wardrobe and enter another world. That’s why I work on site. Once I’m gone, I won’t be accused of stealing.

Ann Calandro is a medical editor, mixed-media collage artist who has written and illustrated children’s books, and a classical piano student. Her poetry and fiction has been published in literary journals and anthologies. www.anncalandro.webs.com