A Father’s Day
Grants Pass, Oregon
‘That’s the last of it?’
His voice was like thunder rolling across the sky, echoing in an empty building that was not home anymore. I looked out my window from the bare floor and blanket pillow. It was still dark but the glow on the edge of the eastern hill had begun. It looked like Pa had snatched the sun from its spot and put it in the lantern as it danced around as he fussed with the wagon strapping and the team. The mules weren’t used to being harnessed this close anymore and they nipped at each other and Pa; stomping their aggravation. Pa moved toward the back porch with the glow of the sun and returned it to its rightful spot. The house smelled with work sweat, old, dry, dusty bacon biscuits and coffee from the kitchen. Pa’s steps meant business as he pounded in.
‘You got to the count of ten; git to that wagon!’
‘It’s gonna be alright Mama,’ he hushed, ‘this time you’ll see, it’s gonna be alright!’ She didn’t bother to look at him, as she pressed by, with the black skillet and coffee pot, out the screen door. Tossing them into the wagon was her response as she climbed onto the tailgate and collapsed wiping tears from the “too soon lines” on her face with her dirty apron. My brother and I flew out the same door and jumped into the wagon either side of mama; she pulled us close, ‘Here you boys, a biscuit and some coffee cooled down.’
Pa stood there, looked around, spit on the plank floor and I heard him cuss, ‘God dammit! It’s gonna be alright!’ He turned in disgust and slammed the screen door and as he mustered the team, ‘Hap Jim, Go Girl!’ they jerked into the unforeseen future.
I looked and watched the door fall from its top hinge and tear the screen in a cloud of dust. It didn’t dare make a noise.
Bio: Marcalan calls this piece a mix of a poem and story, which he likes to call ‘prosetry’. It is a prelude to a possible future story about the early dust bowl years in the ravaged mid-west. It follows a family’s journey through troubled times.