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.