After School Chore

My mother was a reader.
She’d sit on the couch
in the living room
in the early afternoon
after the housework
was done and before
we came home
from school,
with a tumbler
full of Black&White
Scotch and a cigarette
burning in the ashtray
on the table beside her.
Her eyes were glued
to the pages of the latest
best-selling mystery
and the words
that momentarily shut
up the demons roaming
her troubled mind
like wolves running
across a snow-covered
field. I knew because
that’s where I found
her everyday upon my
arrival. I’d toss my books
in a chair and flop down
next to her, making
wise like any teenager
riding hormones through
the sky. She’d calmly
lay her book on the table,
smile a well-worn motherly
smile and throw back
the rest of the scotch.
Then she’d say, holding
the empty glass in my
direction, Would you
do me a favor, sweetie,
and get me a refill.

Paul Lojeski's poetry has appeared in journals and online. He’s also the author of the satiric novel, The Reverend Jimmy Pup. He lives with his wife and daughter in Port Jefferson, NY. Read other articles by Paul.