Voices on the Wind Memorable Voices
Family Rancor by Chris Dietz My sister wanted to be Elizabeth Taylor my mother dreamed she was Marilyn we boys were content to be doctor’s sons knowing we were the lucky ones who would make more of the palatial estate than its mere effrontery provided I suppose my father wished he were James Bond elegant, demure, fit & well-dressed most important: better looking than the rest it was his fear of mediocrity, of being common that drove him--yet, each summer there he was on hands & knees, filthy, sweat pouring low-class caveman ditch digger weeding the roses One cold winter, the period’s dogs took refuge in the carport’s tool shed shit everywhere, on garden hoses on tools, on old bike tires, on rags Father foamed at the mouth as he cleaned spittle splattering chin the four of us kids gathered to witness as he hauled frozen, aching, diarrhea-covered garden hose out of the shed, grunting, ‘Feces! Feces! Feces!’ I think we dreamed we would be happy we could be happy, something would happen Moo would quit drinking, Doo would play with us everybody would lose weight & exercise Patsy would quit sneaking out with Jack Brown Randy would quit dropping chewing gum wrappers what happened was we became ironic family became a joke we bided our time until we would leave