Five Points, Vol. 4 No. 3

Spring/Summer 2000

This is the excerpt lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper.

Sample Content

Melanie Rae Thon
In My Father's House

Let us say it is a late afternoon in October. Five months ago, or five years—what is time to a girl who has always lived in one place, on a lake wide as a sea, in a white house with a green roof, in a room down the hall from her father?
Imagine golden light slanting through dark pine and yellow tamarack. The father emerges from the woods wearing a red flannel shirt and carrying a hatchet. His blue shadow falls behind him.
Another day: this time it’s deep winter. An old man slips on a patch of ice and flails like a clown, struggling to regain his balance. He hunches against wind-driven snow. Would he be ashamed or angry if he glanced toward the house and saw his daughter watching?
This is my father: short white hair, stubble of white beard morning and evening. He stays smooth only a few hours. He rubs his hand over his face. All these years, the same, but the sudden growth still bewilders him. He says, I don’t know why I bother.
My father. Thin legs, chapped hands. He keeps a dozen pairs of gloves in a drawer in the hallway, scratchy wool or supple deerskin, lined with silk or fur or cotton. He has no preference. Though his skin cracks, he forgets to wear them. The black leather ones lines with the fur of a white rabbit lie wrapped in a silk scarf, both saved for some special occasion. Perhaps he imagines his deaf daughter married at last. Perhaps he hopes to give her away some chill afternoon in January or November. With gloved hands, he will guide her.
Father. He looks like a tall man in the distance. Strong, sturdy. For example: when I am in the kitchen of the house and he stands high on a ladder propped against the motel, repairing the gutter. He can repair anything—the dock, the boat, the roof, the plumbing. He can replace a broken window, cracked tiles, blistered linoleum.