Warrington Ave.

by Renée Ashley

Rita's house was yellow tin,
and small, east of ours, and closer
to the corner store, the penny candy, the bar,
and the place lost dogs hung out. And
by the westbound highway, Cristofani
built a white stucco mastodon of a house
-black bars on the windows, and granite steps
like a Bridge of Sighs to the red
double-thick door no 'piss-assed
young punk' would dare kick in. Our

lot on Warrington was ludicrously
large for a city mother, my mover-on
father, half a fertile acre caught
between the junkyard and the wrecker,
and right across the tar-patched road
from crazy MacRoy, his lean-to shack,
and the fat plumber in a duplex
who kept young girls. And out of the flat

brown dirt behind our house, lettuce grew,
and apricots, and the mud got shin-deep,
and the waist-high weeds were full of bugs,
and out past my father's for-stew rabbits,
around my mother's tin-voiced
chickens, was the junkyard
and the wrecking yard
and the mean brown dog called "Botts"
who, on my mother's oath, could peck, like a bird,
the eyes from a child who got too near
the fence-heavy-gauge, insinuating, crowned
by barbed wire, and taller than me by seven heads.
They made me swear I would not touch
that fence. But, every chance ...


Last updated March 29, 2023