The Day Before


He beat my aunt up pretty good
and she was hiding out at Mrs.  Fishback’s
A small one story wooden framed house on a quiet street
with a peaked dormer over the front porch
heavy curtains covering the front windows
occasionally a faced would peer out at the street whenever a car went by
my mother made me go over there and take my aunt something
I don’t remember what
anyway she was hiding out  from him  again
I wondered if  she did anything but never found out
the next day he let the dog out
and set fire to himself
She was a character from a Dashiell Hammett novel
she was earthy hard working,  gambler, who knew about bars and men
smoked shorty cork tipped Kool cigarettes endlessly lighting another and another
She was the youngest of three sisters but older than her brother
He was a rough guy, did time in the state prison down in Salem
everybody was afraid of him, his temper, his strength
he drank a lot and always had a pocketful of cash

he taught me how to fish when I was little and how to drive when I got older

© 2015

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