The house emptied, she lies on the floor
of her parents’ bedroom, the ancient fan
pushing air thick with heat and shadows.
They argued throughout her childhood,
voices muddy behind the door, except
for the abrupt Ukrainian curse–Suka! Mudak!
Did they make her under this creaking fan?
And was she made in joy, or mere animal need,
as she and her husband had made their youngest,
lying afterwards in silence, bodies subsiding,
hearts raw, both counting the minutes until
he moved to the guest room down the hall.
Her parents seemed to find their way back.
Did they have more faith in love,
in each other? Or was it simply
the Old World dictum against divorce?
And at what cost? Tomorrow
she will sit with her widowed father
at closing and pass the house to its new
owners, a Latino couple, first on the block,
the tiny woman’s belly big with twins.
Mary Rohrer-Dann writes and paints in central PA; her work appears in Clackamas Review, Third Wednesday, Rat’s Ass Review, Vestal Review, The Drabble, Flash Fiction, and other venues.