It happened the day before yesterdayor else two decades ago.
Time folds over on itself, shifting
and bending like a paper swan.
We were there and then we weren’t.In the end, we were not invited
to stand by the grave side,
to shovel dirt
and rocks and worms
and disappointment onto that shiny wood.
Instead we went on, the way going on happens.We did laundry.
We walked, one foot in front of another
across the hardwood floor slowly
down the hall that we used to run.
He asks me later how it happened.And I tell him, filling in the gaps
with my hopes. I tell him it was peaceful.
I tell him it was simple,
the slight fluttering of the hollow of the throat,
a weak smile, slowly closing eyes.
Not the way it really happened,with the bending and pain.
With the seizures
clogged blood rupture.
My father holds his calloused hands togetherrubbing tip to tip as he waits.
This kind of meditation comes from another life,
one we lived and choose not to remember.
Inside the house is stillness, minus the maddening ticking clock.Outside there is snow melting,
the yellowed blades of grass showing obscene
through all that blissful white.
I hate this life, I tell him, but he’s already turned away from me,back towards the mirror,
on his face a smile starts but never finishes.
Ally Malinenko has been writing stories and poems and novels for awhile now. Possibly too long. Occasionally she gets them published. Her second book of poems entitled Crashing to Earth is forthcoming from Tainted Coffee Press and her first novel for children, Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb, was recently published by Antenna Books. She can be found blathering here: http://allymalinenko.com/