Donna Summer

Donna Summer

Donna Summer shrugs with her sparkled shoulders and asks Why would I be culpable? Barbara Streisand sang that song with me, why not her? Barbara Streisand says, It’s just silly to think that I, in any way deserve condemnation, what about Neil Diamond? Neil Diamond just waggles his eyebrows and says, Don’t blame the bearer of bad tidings. The first clue that Mom planned to divorce was playing, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” you don’t sing me love songs Barbara sings, and then Neil intones, you hardly talk to me anymore… After that, Mom played, “Love on the Rocks,” Neil rages, Nothing you can do or say, you’ve got to leave, just get away…When divorce was probable and not just a wish, when she had actually signed papers with the attorneys, “Enough is Enough” rotated on the record player. Donna belted out, Goodbye mister, goodbye, goodbye, mister… while Barbara held the note, no more te-e-ears. In the early 80s, divorce was on every woman’s mind. What did my mother need my father for? He owned a failing supermarket in the increasingly deserted downtown of Pittsburgh stocked with generic black and white labeled cans marked, “PEACHES” or “KIDNEY BEANS.” We sat beneath the cash register rearranging the stickers on a Rubik’s cube. We looked at the tan panty hose of the lady who  brought in pies that were the only things that sold. When even they didn’t sell, we got the leftovers. The raisin pie and peach pie. Your father expects sex every day, Mom told us, thinks it is his right as a married man. He expects me to fork over my checks to him. Mom sings, I work hard for my money, taking her cue from Donna Summer. Mom vanished alongside us in a puff of studio-smoke, left in a U-Haul while he was away, left him without furniture or children.

Anna Abraham Gasaway

Anna Abraham Gasaway (She/Her) is an emerging, disabled writer that has been published in Cream City Review, Poetry International, Literary Mama, One Art and others. She received her MFA in Creative Writing at San Diego State University and serves as a reader for the Los Angeles Review. She can be found on Twitter/X at @Yawp97.

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