brother’s house

seventy years a bachelor
known and regular,
his mother kept house to the end.
he put out word,
and her sob story got to him.

but it didn’t matter to his sisters
what she did or didn’t,
she was the usurper,
she had moved in on him;
housekeeper/gardener be damned.

facts were gathered:
stuffing the freezer with processed food,
mother’s silverware jumbled in a drawer,
Wedgewood in the dishwasher
and there was more;
stringing peony into three syllables,
insisting shumac for sumac,
planks stacked for the indictment.

nothing would do, she would have to go.
two hundred and eight-five years
of sisters alighted,
she hadn’t a chance;
he feigned awhile, fretted a bit until
sister three, with the ground rules nailed down
moved back in.

~ Richard Toth

Richard Toth was born and raised in Alberta. He has been living in New Brunswick for forty years. His poetry has been published in a number of literary journals and he has won prizes from the Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick, The Ontario Poetry Society and in the Atlantic Writing Competition. He has had a short story published in “Short Stories of New Brunswick.” and has had articles published in “The New Brunswick Reader” and in “Our Canada Magazine.” He misses the smell of prairie sagebrush and the stretch of a chinook arch.

Leave a Reply