Weaker than Water

"In the world, there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong, nothing can surpass it." –Lao Tzu

Senior Year


It was the way Survey of English Lit

lay on the t.v. tray in the two-door closet

I’d turned into an office.

You see, the apartment was small

and your infant lungs large,

forcing out cries like I did words,

typing on my Mac Classic,

trying to get my Master’s thesis done.


There were no walls to separate

mother and daughter, no boundaries

or untruths or air spray to cover

the smell of sour milk. There

was no crib or changing table

from Pottery Barn or even Ikea.

There was the donated cradle

from Peter down the street who

had three kids and knew what it was like

to have only a nook to call his own.


Peter’s youngest was three at the time,

climbing into the red 1979 pickup

we’d eventually buy for one-thousand U.S. dollars,

Bondo falling off the fender,

like a woman’s mud mask left on too long.

That’s how we began, by begging.

That’s the way we started a life,

our life together, our life of moving

from state to state until we settled here

where I type now in a family room

on an expansive, cluttered desk

that takes up half a wall.


Next to me, craft supplies pig-pile

on a battered rolling cart,

drawers falling off the tracks,

each bottom hindering a top,

keeping them from opening

while every afternoon

you come home from high school,

and I ask you how your day was.

Katherine Gotthardt
Copyright September 15, 2014


Author: All Things Writing, LLC

Katherine Gotthardt is CEO of All Things Writing, LLC, a full-service content development and content marketing company. A published writer and seasoned educator, Katherine leads a team of professionals on a mission to make clients shine online and in print.

2 thoughts on “Senior Year

  1. Glad you enjoyed it, Antonia! Thanks for visiting!

  2. I love this. Makes me want to hug my mom and dad for all their sacrifices.

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