I remember ringing the doorbell and asking
if Evan or Perry could come out and play.
I remember my mother asking me who
was at the door and warning me to stay quiet
as she lied about me not being home.
My ability to avoid homework depended upon
a whim, a conversation at work, whether my mom
had deadlines. She took those tiring afternoons
and made box wine sing and took her anger out on
the vacuum. I felt bad walking on the carpet lines,
so I was quiet in my room when the doorbell rang.
Matthew David Manning is an English instructor at Pittsburg State University (PSU) in the Intensive English Program. Matthew holds degrees in creative writing from Arizona State University and PSU. His poetry has appeared in various publications including I-70 Review, Red Paint Hill, Rust + Moth, Kansas Time + Place, and Chiron Review.