Kora Orosz

On Fathers

With each click of the tuning knob, 
static morphs into country tenor. 
Melodic twang bounces through monophonic grit
like dandelions sprouting from the gravel 
driveway. His voice booms above the roar 
of the air compressor and intoxicating fumes of gasoline. 

Smiling at my brother, he asks if he’s strong 
enough to fetch the big red hammer. 
Bent over the entrails of a ’67 Impala, Dad rummages 
through his tool belt for a quarter-inch socket. 
His steel-wire sinews wrench silver organs back to life. 
When moths circle the lightbulbs, they saunter inside. 

My brother burrows beneath 
a nest of flannel on his lap while Dad 
ruffles his hair and sips a pilsner. It is bitter, 
but the froth is sweet and dry, a communion wine 
for that sacred, masculine gesture they secretly savor. 
Grinning, Dad lifts a finger to his lips and tilts 
the amber bottle toward my brother, offering a swig
before Momma comes out of the laundry room. 

I sit against the front of the washing machine, 
listening to their easy silence and the muffled 
gunshots of a late-night spaghetti western. 
I clutch my doll, and hate that I love her 
instead of motor oil and tobacco. 
I wish I was my father's son.

Kora Orosz is a sophomore at Albion College in Albion, Michigan; she is pursuing a degree in Exercise Science. “On Fathers” is her first published poem, but she has enjoyed creative writing since childhood. Although she is pursuing a career in healthcare, her hobbies are mostly artistic. In addition to creative writing, she enjoys painting, sketching, and playing her cello.

%d bloggers like this: