April 1, 2017 orangeq2017

The Father

Kathleen Glasgow

 

The bastards come when the day ends in this desert town as bright as duck down: they hitch up their boots at the slightest peek of moon and begin. The saucer he knocks in fright splits beautifully in five white pieces as they sing: oh your daughters, oh your sons, oh, your. They sing the song his son’s mouth made, wetted with blood, gutted, as the father brought the broom down. The devils, the bastards, they climb the rafters and sing of the girls running in the yard and how hard his feet ached from running. They got away, anyway. Like the boy. Like the wife. And he was left then as now, alone with his numbers for the next day’s class, alone with everything past. Everything he breaks as they sing will be shuffled into bags. The night will go on. He’ll scratch his numbers out over and again, more problems, another plan. It is to be expected. He is a man full of long nights.

 

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