koi sidebar

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 1, March 2014


Ignatius Fay
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

This Old House

While we lived in that house: I got my first hockey skates for Christmas and my first bow and arrows for my birthday; I was given my first (and last) bicycle, and later had to explain to dad how I managed to let a paving machine crush it; during a fight with a younger sister, my older sister had a front tooth broken when hit in the face with a cast-iron frying pan.

after dark
picking dew worms
on the lawn
games of hide 'n' seek
frozen tag and kick the can

When my youngest sister was born, her crib was put in my bedroom; being the only boy, I had the space. The close bond between us endures to this day. In that kitchen my uncle, in a drunken stupor, cooked and baked all day, making so much food that he sent the four of us out after school to invite two friends each for supper. I split my head wide open, gashed my knee, broke my arm—and kissed my first girl.

Yes, that house witnessed a lot. Yet, to me, it will always be the house where I came home from school to be greeted by the sound of mom moaning and crying upstairs in my bed. I gave it up so she could rest a little. She was in too much pain to sleep in the same bed as dad.

the two-storey
stucco on first avenue
number thirteen
the house where mom
died of cancer



| contents page | next tanka prose |

koi sidebar r