A Cup of Cold Water

Christina Lee


In the kitchen, under the open light bulb
burning out, my father
is looking at the two pills
in the palm of his hand:
one a red oval, like candy,
the other a firm blue square.
He says do you know
how they make me feel?


I have filled a cup to the brim
and I’m about to drink.
I say here and shove it over
and he swallows his pills
and the water splashes, just a little,
around his hands as he sets the cup back down.


Christina Lee’s poetry and prose has been featured in The Toast, Hoot, Relief, Ruminate, and Whale Road Review. She lives with her husband in Sierra Madre, CA, where she teaches English at a public junior high.