What the Dream Reveals About Her Father


The funeral? It was a hoax.
He’s lived for years in this walkup,

the dishes washed,
shelves stacked with soup cans.

There’s no young wife, no collection
of flawed, half-finished paintings,

just this day bed, a TV.
Each morning he chooses a clean shirt,

takes the “F” downtown,
works, rides back.


He stands at the window,
forehead to glass

such a long time,
maybe he’s dozed off.

But just as I start
toward the door, he turns:

Listen. I’m fine.
They give plenty of heat.

No leaks. No roaches.
And where have you ever

seen walls this thick?
(He knocks.) I swear

I haven’t heard another
human voice in years.

Merrill Oliver Douglas studied in the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College, and she earned an MA in English from Binghamton University in 1982. Her most recent publications are in A Narrow Fellow, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Barrow Street and San Pedro River Review. She lives near Binghamton, N.Y., where she runs a freelance writing business.

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3 Responses to What the Dream Reveals About Her Father

  1. Wonderful character sketch and insight.

  2. Pingback: Links to Merrill’s poems – Top of JC's Mind

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