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

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 14, Number 2
(Fall 2019)

Copyright © 2019
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.