ELEGY FOR MY FATHER
by Katherine Fallon
My father and I collided in the downstairs
hallway most nights. We never were able to
sleep. We’d sit at that awful lion-footed
walnut table they were both so proud of,
leaf missing, a perfect circle that could never
again grow larger and, more troubling,
couldn’t ever seem to close completely,
gathering crumbs we loosed with butter knives
evenings we sat together as a family, eating.
Those late nights, my father drank whole milk
and talked while I drew my finger awkwardly
along the whorls of the wood, his face too much
like someone I knew to look right into it.
There wasn’t much to say then. He was forty
and I was curling my hair daily until
the singed waft of it filled the bathroom.
Still, we kept vigil for hours without lighting
the room. The refrigerator opened, closed,
opening, closing. Just a portal we could have
climbed through, together but one by one.
Katherine Fallon received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence
College. Her chapbook, The Toothmakers’ Daughters,
was published by Finishing Line Press in 2018. Fallon’s
poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Permafrost,
Meridian, Foundry, and other literary journals. She teaches
at Georgia Southern University. More information is
available on her website.
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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Volume 14, Number 2
Copyright © 2019
by Leah Browning, Editor.
All future rights to material
published in the Apple
Valley Review are retained
by the individual authors