Fall River Historical Museum
You know how it is: August, the pears
all at once too heavy for their
branches; everything bending down,
down. And what doesn't fall on its own
is simply asking for a little help: a
or the patient, constant heave of an axe.
So the thing that gets you, come on,
is not that I did it, or didn't. No.
It's what you can't stop seeing in those
photographs: the expectant tilt of his
head toward the door;
her almost ecstatic embrace of the floor.
You know how it is: one Sunday morning,
just like any other,
some father, just like any other,
might be taking a snooze on the horsehair
sofa while his wife,
above, offers up the last minutes of her
to eleven plunges of a toolshed blade.
Well, what family
doesn't have its little problem?
When the parlor door creaks open
to trouble his sleep,
his feathery brows twitch and rise,
but not exactly in surprise.
A perfect gentleman to the last,
"Finished with mother, have you?" he asks.