Little Pitchers

Location

The August air is warm, thick, simmering,

Stained with blood lost.

Torn tendons pound, hollow and rusty,

Echoing and reflecting off the chestnut siding,

As one lacking in words but always craving attention.

One intention inadvertently ignored, until another goes awry.

 

Disturbingly perplexed, I watch my father burst through the painted brown door.

He feigns calm for the Little Pitchers in the kitchen –

The kind small enough to wonder endlessly,

Wiping away tears of disorientation and pressing noses to storefront windows.

Scrambling through a, “Stay in the house, girls,” he snatches a glass

And fills it from the tap with a clear, wet dose of urgency…for He should be parched.

 

A hospital bed is designed to comfort,

To console,

To support the weak,

And humiliate the strong – off-white sheets indented for weeks.

The room is saturated with a sea of invisible, grievous saline,

But I first attempt the word “hospital,” illegibly in pink crayon today,

Making Him laugh, a smoker’s chuckle…

And I conduct an examination of our scars – body and mind – for years to come.

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