Residue of yesterday’s supper
sits soaking in the enamel basin.
The person I call Father
is sipping on his bottle of high.

Outside is drenched
from the continuous pouring
of October showers.

After arduous hours at the factory
Mama drags her feet
through the muddied lanes.

No pots a bubbling
to meet her craving hunger.
Father waits to be fed
by those worn and tired hands.

Today, tomorrow, maybe next week
he’ll find that job.
A few months the longest
he has ever spent on one.

Mornings and afternoons
I spend next door with Miss Rita
while Father drowns himself
on multiple bottles of high.

My ears pound
from his constant drunken nag
smacking, smashing, shouting and taunting
every time he reaches that high.

Mama says soon he’ll be
the Father he used to be.
The Father who made paper boats
for puddle racing after the rain.
The father who gave piggy back rides,
morning kisses and evening hugs.

Mama waits for the man
my father used to be
loving, funny, playful and dear.

She prepares supper without a fuss
Her callused hands
cleaned yesterday’s residue
from the enamel basin
while the person I call father
stares on in a drunken stupor.