Terry Collett

The Jew Boy And The Father.

Fay met Buruch
by the entrance to the Square,
waiting by the wall,
eyes tearful,
fair hair in disarray.

She had shopping in her arms,
hands holding bread rolls
close to her breast.
Buruch took in her eyes,
the hair unkempt, unusual.

You ok? He asked.
They are rowing again, she said.
Who? He asked.
The parents, she said.

You got to take that home?
He asked pointing to the shopping
in her arms.

Yes, she said, I dropped the last rolls
and he sent me out for more,
after hitting me,
after the rows began again.

I’ll walk back with you, he said.
They walked to the stairs
and climbed up side by side.

Don’t you have shopping to get?
She asked.
I can get it later, he said, no rush.

They reached her landing
and he waited
while she went in the door.
Loud voices, shouts, crying.

He waited, hands in pockets,
wondering how she was,
wishing he could knock
and ask her out.

He waited,
looked over the balcony,
looked back at the door.

He knocked the door.
The door opened.
Fay’s father stood there.
What you want kid? He said.

Can Fay come out to play? Buruch asked.
The father stood staring,
hands by his sides.

Who wants to know?
I do, Buruch said.
She’s busy, the father said,
got things to do.

All day? Buruch asked.
If I say so, the father said.
Buruch stood staring,
hands in pockets,
head to one side.

So she’s not coming out? He said.
The father sighed.
Do your parents know
you pester people?
Buruch said,
Yes, pretty much.

The father said, beat it kid.
I’ll wait, Buruch said,
touching his toy 6 shooter
in the holster at his side.

You’ll have a long wait,
the father said.
Buruch leaned against the wall,
pushed the cowboy hat at a tilt.

Ain’t you that Jewish kid
from downstairs? The father said.
Aren’t you the Catholic
who beats his wife and kid?

The father stood full stretch,
his eyes darkening,
his hands becoming fists.

Scram kid before I beat you,
the father said.
Buruch pulled out
his 6 shooter.

Touch me and I’ll fill you
full of lead, Buruch said.
The father closed his eyes,
then closed the door.

Buruch waited;
more loud voices and cries,
as were before.

Submitted: Saturday, August 10, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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