Fall River

Father is right; even when he is not
around, even when Mother dies, sickly,
starving, still, then, this is all for the best.
He will die as well, and knows, and knows how
to protect his children from the stiff boots
and proudly worn insignia hailing
death, hailing poverty, hailing answers.
Though you are alone in this house with him
and the others, there are worse places, much.
I’m sure Father would change his mind, leave you
the house, the heirlooms, and Mother would wash
the windows herself, enjoy it even,
once they saw the mounds, the barracks, the cold
sludge, the thick, ashy river in the Fall.

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