The father arrives.

He pulls up on the road and he beeps the horn

and he waits. Perhaps he beeps again.

But he always waits.

The boys are never ready. He waits five, ten,

sometimes more minutes, but he always

has to wait. When the door of the house opens

the boys run down to the car, hurrying,

eager to see him. They have been waiting, too.

The couple parted some years ago. Who knows

who left who, or why anyone should care?

She stayed in the house, the family home,

and he didn’t. He has a new life now,

a new woman, and a new place to live.

The mother has a new man, too, someone

lumpen and sullen and dull. She found

him in town after running around

for a while dressed in desperate fashion.

From the window, she sometimes looks as the

man and his boys drive away.

But only sometimes.

The new man never looks, or speaks,

or smiles. The father drives too quickly,

coming and going in repentant haste

on this small road, where his

small boys live their contained lives.

He comes, and he waits.

Perhaps he is already annoyed

before he even gets here by this

small act of vengeance.

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