They were seated at a corner table of the bar. They had gathered, for the first time in six months to celebrate their daughter’s thirtieth birthday. The daughter observing as the hockey game consumes her father’s attention. Her mother is firing shots again. She begins to realize that her father escapes in his love of sports. The TV becomes a bunker in which he burrows in and hides himself from the bullets and bombs soaring around him. Her mother begins speaking as if she were the victim of his neglect. As if the man retreating to the bunker were the one firing the shots. Her mother is trapped in a place long since neglected. A childhood of abandonment. Leaving wounds on her much like the ones she leaves upon others. Her mother is unable to reach out with love through the scars of the past. Yet they stay. The daughter contemplates why they stay. She imagines they are simply too old and tired to have any other choice. Too withered and broken to be alone. For all of the pain they cause each other, they know no other way. For all of the anger and hate, there is a need there. Deeply seeded in their age.

image Megan Groff

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