Small Victory by Salvatore Difalco

Small Victory

The sticky blood in my mouth,
the wonder of how I will spend the rest
of the summer, the Canada geese
trumpeting out of season in a victory
formation that smacks of confusion,
the mother peeling potatoes
in the kitchen, the father wiping his
hands on his trousers, and the sister
wailing how her pain surpasses yours—
this was the stuff of year number ten
in my life calendar and I was not
happy to be me, not happy to be
my father’s son, not happy he was
my father, and generally not happy.

Then, two years later, unhappiness
continued on another plane—
the father died, that mean old guy,
bad old man whose hands of wood
he never spared me, whose anger
could be measured on a Richter scale,
Sicilian style, quaking in a measure
of its own. Maybe I felt sad on that day,
maybe pretended to feel sad because
I was expected to feel so, but in my
heart I felt like those Canada geese,
honking aimlessly, free to fly, yet
unsure of where I was headed and why.

by Salvatore Difalco

Editor’s Note: The internal rhyme of the last two lines emphasizes the speaker’s confused, guilty joy in a moment where the emotional landscape points the opposite direction.


One response to “Small Victory by Salvatore Difalco”

  1. Joe Crocker Avatar
    Joe Crocker

    Loved “honking aimlessly”. It captures a raft of feelings about foolishness, uncertainty, celebration and hope.

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