Dzvinia Orlowsky

Wooden Boards
October 13, 2013 Orlowsky Dzvinia

Wooden Boards

 

My father carefully rolls his pant leg up, places his leg between two wide boards. He tells my mother to jump hard on it. Crippled, he won’t be drafted. They agree. Earlier, he had considered hiding under the living room’s wooden floor boards, but that would make him feel less of a man and more like an opossum, paralyzed, blind. And weren’t they known for their short lives? Hadn’t his friend, Ihor, just the day before, avoided enlistment by drinking a vial of his wife’s blood spewing it past his cup of urine? Could he, too, do it: drive a truck, heave honey, blow grits, trade his rugged for ralph, blow on his thumb until he passed out? No, he was no greenhead looking for blood meal. He had a wife, and they were in this together. She springs from their horsehair filled couch, eyes closed tight, fingers plugging her ears; she lands with a thump. The leg doesn’t break. Father rolls away from her, screaming, holds his hand up as if to strike the air. Hysterical, she sobs through his curses. Forgiving her slight body, he slowly closes his hand, lowers it over his heart.

Four Way Books founding editor, Pushcart Prize winner, and a co- recipient with Jeff Friedman of an NEA grant for translation, Dzvinia Orlowsky has authored six poetry collections published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. Her newest from CMUP, Bad Harvest, is forthcoming in October 2018.