The alcove hidden underneath the stair
was now her home. She’d placed a narrow bed
against the kitchen wall and she would sleep
surrounded by her mirrors.
the picture. They were staying at the beach
the day she would have graduated. She’s
reclining on a beach towel with her right
hand shading out the sun. “You’ve got the air
of Madame Fauntleroy,” her father said,
“and carry on with every no good creep.
You got to settle down; become a cook,
or something steady, sure.”
She held a peach
between her teeth and grinned at him. The trees
behind her held their future. “We just might
be in the clear this year. If we take care
of them, they’ll care for us. Just tilt your head
a little to the side. You are too deep
in shadow. Catch the sun.” It seemed a hook
would always jerk the future from her reach
when it was in her grasp. A late Spring freeze
destroyed the crop.
She quickly stole a bite
of cheesecake and she giggled. Would he dare
to tell her once again she moved her head?
She’d laughed and threatened, “Take a flying leap!
I’ll eat or you can paint another. Look,
you know the meaning of the phrase, ‘To each
his own?'” She laughed at him. The Summer breeze
was soft on naked skin, and in that light
she felt resplendent.
Pinning up her hair
for bed, she listened while her husband fed
himself and climbed the stair. She pushed a heap
of unwashed clothes, her curling iron and book
on to the floor. Too bad you couldn’t teach
me Daddy. Guess I just can’t seem to please
anyone. Good night my dear, good night.