by Cheryl Ann Farrell
The ol' man snored
Through his daily afternoon nap
After filling his gut with little regard
The steam iron hissed at me
And I imagined a salon facial
The starch scorched; the ironing board creaked
The smell of fear rose and fell in tandem
With his heaving chest.
I wish my mother would take care of him.
He's the only man I know.
I wonder if they all smell that way
The grocer, the butcher, the candlestick maker
They all seem to ooze
Whether it’s too much smile or just too much sweat.
The iron hisses again and spits scalding water
Across my hand
For a moment he looks vulnerable
For a moment I see a way out.