My Father’s Study


By Erika Gotfredson

He painted the French doors black—the dark ingress stark against the white trim that extends throughout the home, covering the other doors, our doors, binding us.

It was Mom’s idea.

“To accentuate,” she’d said: the black-trimmed panes framing the shelves of memorabilia from his beloved alma mater and photos from when we were younger, easier; the cracked blinds; the computer whose echoes signaled taxes paid or civilizations destroyed.

And the desk chair whose leather always looked worn, whose wheels left indentations below.

“To ward off,” I’d thought.

He replaced that chair three times while I lived there.

Erika Gotfredson is studying at Wake Forest University in the fall in pursuit of an MA in English.


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