Down the Drain.jpg


21 Magnolia

Beyond the playroom, the wet bar

and the whiskey.

And past the maid’s room and

her less- than- pleasing- bathroom,

where the musty odor begins.

Then the washer, dryer and ironing board,

where I ironed his hankies, while fearing

everything about him.

And just to the right

was a room filled by shelves, spider webs

Christmas and a bulb.

I was 8 going into 3rd and my sister going into 4th.

It was 1963.

Over the summer my she gave me art lessons in that room lit by a bulb.

It was soothing to be there with her and my fear.

She taught me to see the negative space,

concentrate on that, she said.

Draw what’s not there and you’ll see

what is.

Kate Gallagher

(an excerpt from my sister's poem, 2016)