Sunday Afternoon. By Rob Plath.

My father used to scream
at the television when he was
watching the horses

he'd go to Off Track Betting while my mother was preparing our early Sunday dinner

he'd leave about a half hour before post time while she was making meatballs

then when he got back and we were sitting down to eat, he'd take the plate she made for him and bring it into the den

you could tell what races he bet on because the volume would go up to 10 and he'd be shouting over the crowd and the announcer:

Come on with this 4 horse!
Come on 4, you motherfucker!
Run, 4 , you bastard! Run!

if he lost he'd mute the TV
then you'd hear him ripping the ticket up and him mumbling, I can't get a break or Jesus fucking Christ

then he'd come back into
the kitchen, angry
slamming things
commanding my mother to
clean up the "shithouse"

then he'd return to
the den

if he won you'd know it

he'd come back into the kitchen smiling
and pinch my mother as she was
washing dishes at the sink

he'd tell her that he'd be right back
that she should put the coffee on
that he'd bring back some cake

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