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January 2019, vol 14 no 4

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Glenn G. Coats

A Nest Under the Eaves

they grow together over time hemlocks

Twilight. The music of pots and pans, ring of knives and forks, shuffle of feet, the in and out of chairs. Most of the family gathers around the kitchen table – a few are still at work, one waitresses at a diner, another bottles milk at the dairy. The older girls talk about a boy on the bus who found trouble and enlisted in the army. Boys chatter about baseball tryouts, infield mix, the need to oil gloves.

To Dimitri and Anna who sit alone at the dining room table, their voices sound like birds all singing at once. They listen and sip their chowder. Dimitri crunches oyster crackers in his hands, sprinkles them like dust on his soup.

After the children clear away their places, Anna and Dimitri climb the steps up to their room. They undress, change into night clothes, then lie side by side where they talk in whispers about today and tomorrow. Their lights are off now. Voices ring around the house, hum like a fan as the grandparents slip into sleep.

from childhood until now tiger lilies