dash
The Pits

Dadís so much slimmer, younger-looking
since they amputated. Heís limber;
the stretching is great for his good leg.
Itís Mom who tires; she holds his stump
dead still. You make me sick, he tells her.
She massages his neck and shoulders.

Dad wonít admit he ran the stop sign,
double-clutched, rear-ended the dump truck.
Didn't you see?, he shouts. Mom pretends,
again, to listen. Sheíll take a breath,
sponge his stump, find him a fresh sock, roll
the liner on, fit in the pin, stand

him up. Dad jogs in the park. Heíll fall;
Momíll wait, and drive him home. She loves
watching me drop, he says. Sometimes Dad
slips in the house. He blames the waxed floor;
Mom, he cries, probably planned it, 'cause
she's got a guy on the side. Mom laughs.

Dad baits me. He says I make high grades
by luck. Or else I cheat. Momís aging:
thicker ankles; wrinkles; a tremor.
Sheís his crutch, she tells me. He demands
sympathy: words she has vowed never
to utter, since pity is the pits.

Richard Merelman

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Richard Merelman
would be pleased to hear them.

logo