Friday Nights

Flowers 2

By Donna Hilbert

Friday nights, my father sat
in his green Naugahyde chair
smoking, drinking beer,
the red tip of his cigarette
tracing the pathway
from the ashtray to his lips.
My father sat in his chair
like a storm sits on the horizon,
gathering flash and clap
to slam across the prairie.
Friday nights, I flattened
thinner than a paper doll,
shrank smaller than a crayon,
knowing the tallest presence
takes the lightning.
If my father were a storm
building on the horizon,
if our house were on the prairie,
I could blow out the door,
down the concrete stairs
into the dark, damp cellar
to safety.

First appeared in PEARL, 2004.

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