Shelton Walsmith


by Erin Jamieson

l our house filled w/ steam
& windows fogged, family photos
peeled like sunburnt skin

the smell was always the same:
car exhaust mixed w/
rancid peanut oil &&&suffocating

even upstairs in my room,
as I listened to my father
call another lover, even as
my mother drew her third bath
of the afternoon

once, I tried save us
I was only eight, but the fire
from the month before,
where I lost my stuffed bear
had made an impression

I felt so proud
turning off the heat
preventing another tragedy

but on my way down
I passed my father,
laughing at a joke
& my mother, dripping
from her shower

& in the kitchen they knew
& I knew
that I had saved no one

for the rest of my childhood
I let my mother forget
& our house self destruction

Erin Jamieson

Erin Jamieson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio. Her writing has been published in over eighty literary magazines, and her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She teaches at the Ohio State University.

Artist: Shelton Walsmith





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