December 22, 2010

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz

Home on Sunday Morning

It is not guilt you see in your father’s eyes when you enter the kitchen and he looks at you. No regret or whatever it is you’re expecting to be there. Tiptoe in!—you don’t want to disturb him—but he’s close to sober. Showered, freshly shaved. The solemn look on his face as he thoughtfully raises the coffee cup to his lips and looks, once, at you standing in the doorway. Last night the door opening to your bedroom and you thought it was your mother, crawling in afterwards, as she always did, checking to see if you’d survived the blows to her head, the vicious words tearing at your hearts, but your doll house fell—someone stumbling in the darkness—the plastic family and their furniture spilling to the floor. Through the sliver of light from the hall, you could hear her whimpering in their room. And later you thought better than let your whimpering join chorus, remembering your mother’s weekly chant: He was just drunk, he didn’t mean it. And you tell yourself this. Now. For no reason. Because nothing happened. You can see that in your father’s eyes. This is what you tell yourself.


Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz lives in the desert. She blogs about her life at and about her writing life at

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