Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, by Ann Chandonnet

Ann Chandonnet

You’ve topped three hundred pounds,
and wear an oxygen mask to sleep.
But you don’t care.
You couldn’t possibly change.
It goes back to those Saturday nights
and Sunday mornings.

There’s no food in the house,
and your little sister is hungry.
You push a chair to the cabinets,
and climb up to reach the crackers.
They are the only edibles in the house.

Arranged in quartets,
the crackers smell almost like cake.
You are afraid to eat them all,
so you carefully break off three squares
from each quartet,
putting the fourth back in the box.
You lick the salt before you bite,
cautioning Becky about crumbs.

You wait for the sound of the garage door.
You are not to go outside,
talk to neighbors,
use the phone or touch the thermostat.
You sit on the couch with Becky,
sharing an Army surplus blanket that smells of dog and diesel.

When you turn to check the picture window
behind you, it is the same picture as Saturday afternoon.
Solemn drivers skid wildly past, out of control on ice,
throwing dirty slush onto the white lawn.
You wait for the sound of the garage door.
You huddle on the threadbare couch,
Becky whimpering , covertly wiping her nose on the blanket,
the room growing colder and colder.
You dream of a refrigerator
stuffed with pizza and cheese,
roasts and corn salad,
of a carton of licorice and potato chips
open on the kitchen table.

At three, the sun slinks below the white horizon ,
and the cold room grows dark.
Slush curdles.
You wait for the garage door.
Time for a glass of hot water.

(first published in Referential magazine)


2 thoughts on “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, by Ann Chandonnet

    • Addiction is such a debilitating thing, and loved ones get pulled under. Who almong us hasn’t walked on egg shells and endured, our arms and hearts floundering?

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