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Buying My Father's House

Yoda Olinyk

The windowsills crumble.

The roof rots. Mice gather

in the basement.

Each corner decorated

with a spiderweb.

—I see only potential.

I do not see where Dad

threw the plate against the wall.

I do not see the empty space

shaped by Mom’s

leaving. I don’t see

the rotting stairs

or the ugly carpet

or the rust in the tub.

—I see my future.

I see a wide open

kitchen with clay

countertops. Dark wood

floors. I see my father

singing as he kneads

the dough on Sundays.

I see shared teapots,

fighting over the shower.

You used all the hot water again!

I see a claw foot tub

made of rose quartz

and a writing desk

we’ll share. I hope

by the time I buy

my father’s house,

I still want it. I hope

he lets me cut the grass

for him. I hope

he still listens

to Leonard Cohen

while writing poems

and staring into the field. I hope

when the time comes,

Dad still sings.



Yoda Olinyk loves to make people comfortable, which is too bad because she is a poet. Yoda believes poetry should reveal our sharp corners and writes mostly about addiction and family, and is currently working on a book about reproductive rights in Canada. Yoda's poems have been published with Button Poetry, Sky Island Journal, Free Verse, and Quail Bell.

Image Credit: Emma Grey Rose, "In Sleeping Town"

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