Mom and Dad at Dinner

our endless chatter
a teasing needle
like a sewing machine in reverse
eventually ripping seams
where there were none
Dad, worn from work and age,
would explode,
rough-neck invectives
washing over us
drowning our noise
tapping his rough hand lightly
“Now Ralph,” Mom would offer
our levee against the deluge.

(from “fragments of water, 2004-2006)

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