Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Explosion in the afternoon

by Marian Veverka

Our old man can explode with anger
Over the smallest dumb thing
Like a gallon of milk left sitting on
The table
The fridge door not closed all the way
Someone’s shoes sitting empty in
The middle of the living room
And the TV still on

He’d use real cuss words
So loud the neighbors could hear
And scream back for him to shut
The ----- up
And our baby sister woke up crying
And mom yelling because we woke
The baby

I’d take off running through the back yard
Down by the old bridge where the train
Tracks crossed the swamp
And imagine myself a hobo swinging aboard
A slow train to China
Or any place far enough away
Where all you’d hear was the chatter
Of crickets in the tall grass

The ghost of a whistle from the days
The trains still ran.
There weren’t so many babies
And Mom and Dad would shut
The doors and be as quiet as the night.


  1. Amazing memoir piece, Marian. Great job!

  2. You make me FEEL this with you, Marian. Always impressed with your writing.

  3. I don't know if the author has ever tried short fiction but I suspect she might do it well. Russell Streur, the editor of The Camel Saloon, once said he thought that a poem I had submitted might make a better story. I've been doing both ever since. As one who lived through a childhood not dissimilar to the one remembered in the poem, I can see the author doing a fine piece of fiction from this time in her life.

  4. Marian, this is a gorgeous piece, and I fully agree with donalmahoney, above. Your mastery of language would translate very well to flashy fiction, or short fiction.

    My favorite line is this:
    "any place far enough away
    Where all you’d hear was the chatter
    Of crickets in the tall grass"

    ...who hasn't ached to hop a "slow train" and just listen?

    de jackson

  5. Such a clear bit of writing, Marian, portraying true experiences of life's sights and sounds! Yes to the train to China, yes to the crickets and yes, to shutting doors to, "be as quiet as the night"!

  6. Marian - Agree with all comments above in terms of the lushness of the piece - the power of the writing - and the evocative, moved-to-tears vividness of the narrative - Whatever you decide to do - please do send this out into the larger world - It is simply wonderful :)