Tom Laughlin

Home for the Holidays

I come up the driveway
where he fell on the ice, drunk
breaking his hip
on my birthday

and pass the yard
where he lay on the ground
knocked down by my brother
still swearing

and pass the garage
whose door he pulled quickly
just missing mother’s head
triggering a scream

and open the storm door
where the glass was shattered
by mother’s arm smashing through
when he shoved her from behind

and into the breezeway
where he was thrown
against the wall
cracking six ribs

and where
my immense brother, his face slapped relentlessly
was forced, sobbing, to break his vow by
raising strong hands

And I enter the house smiling


Tom Laughlin is a professor at Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts where he teaches creative writing, literature, and composition courses, as well as coordinating a visiting writers series.  His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Green Mountains Review, Ibbetson Street, Drunk Monkeys, Sand Hills, The Blue Mountain Review, and elsewhere.  His chapbook, The Rest of the Way, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.