by Doug Tanoury

Published in Issue No. 11 ~ April, 1998

In the early hours of the morning,

At 2:30 and sometimes after,

I would hear my father,

Unable to sleep, couching,

His footsteps moving about,

As he transformed the kitchen

Into a concert hall,

With refrigerator doors closing loudly.

Jars could be heard opening.

Their vacuum seals hissing,

Lids rolling, spiraling and strumming

Across table or countertop,

The sound of him rummaging

Through the silver for knife, fork

Or spoon, and the glupp-glupp of him

Pouring a soda, the fizzle of it

In the glass.


Some nights now I wake up

At 2:30 or sometime after,

Unable to sleep.

In the summer, I sit out

In the quiet on the front porch step,

In winter, in the darkened living room

At the rolltop desk, but always

Avoiding the kitchen.

Indeed, I tiptoe through it, for the

Silence there has grown

Into a monument to him,

And I fear that if I click the

Glass of the pimento olive

And the sweet pickle jars

It will disturb his peace,

And any slight rattle of silverware

Will conjure his spirit.

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Doug Tanoury grew up in Detroit and still lives in the area with his wife and three children. He's been published in Writer's Digest, Ego Flights Alura Quarterly and A Year On The Avenue (Two Dog Press). His online credits include: The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Eclectica, Recursive Angel, The Free Zone and others. The greatest influence on Doug and his work was the 7th grade poetry anthology used in Sister Debra's English class: Reflections On A Gift Of Watermelon Pickle And Other Modern Verse, Stephen Dunning, Edward Lueders and Hugh Smith, © 1966 by Scott Foresman & Company.