D.T. Matz
D.T. Matz

Always On the Lookout for a Bargain, My Father Inquires
About Purchasing a Ford Truck He Found

We were late arriving at the cabin

in northwest Indiana on the Kankakee.

My father was drunk, and I, tired.

As we came near, crossing the tracks,

we saw the tavern off in the woods.

A Ford truck drove quick circles

in the gravel with a woman hanging

onto the tall, chromed mirror

on the passenger door. We stopped. We

watched as the fierce wind blew.

The driver yelled at and threatened

the woman, then drove toward

a tree. The majestic oak crushed

the side of the Ford

knocking the woman to the ground.

My father tugged my arm and ran

toward the scene. “Look at her, Tiger.” He said

to me, smiling. Then stepped over her

to admire the damaged Ford.

“Do you see this?” He asked, but I only saw

the woman. Her eyes stared into mine.

She trembled, she choked; tiny droplets

of blood catapulted from her mouth

as she struggled for breath.

I watched her die.

I was seven.

 


Through The Louvers of the Bi-fold Door

 

Three eggs crackle in browning, bubbling batter.

The cast iron pan, dominant and black,

holds the bacon ‘til crisp. Hash browns, too,

fry ‘til golden brown as the toast toasts

in the toaster. My mother’s face, speckled

with sweat, hangs low over the stove. Monotony

shows in her crow’s feet and callused hands.

She’s fat now. She’s a drunk, and sometimes

she screams when no one’s around. I watch

her from the hall, because it’s forbidden to go in.

My father sits tall in his chair. He’s king

in his castle. He’s fat now. He’s a drunk, and

sometimes he cries when no one’s around.

“Here’s your breakfast, My Love.” She says,

thinking she believes it, then fetches the coffee.

I want to join them, but it’s forbidden, the King

eats alone. So I sit quietly on the cold

floor, peeking, like a spy, through the louvers

of the bi-fold door. Soon he will leave, she will

scream, and that will be my cue to enter—as always.