Test Results

by Maureen Tolman-Flannery

Eighty-five percent probability of sibling kinship

85% accurate accusation that my father
was loving another woman when I was one year old

a cold hard DNA explanation
for my mother’s possessive hold on her own girls
why she became ever more demanding
and less content as he met each new demand

15% chance her reactions were irrational

low odds his heart was ever hers after that
high likelihood she always felt unloved
had reasons for not trusting
for thrusting herself into the arms of her church

genetic explanation for her chronic displeasure
with a seemingly easy life
why she didn’t encourage me to be a ranch girl
never wanted him to go fishing

85 degrees of silent rage that seethed inside my mother’s psyche
and made her seem the crazy one

high odds that the lives of all involved were complicated
by the possibility of this probability

85 creases in the portrait he wanted saved
innumerable reasons for holding his secrets
one answer to the question he took to the grave

0% probability my childhood can actually have been
what I believed it to be