Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

Never the Same Father Twice

"She has a new baby every
fifteen months whether she
needs one or not, all of 23,
four kids already & another
on the way, says, "A girl's
got to have some company
when her man is away."
indicating that they were
doing hard time in a place
where the only women allowed
were matrons, lawyers &
shrinks, none of whom got
close enough to be touched-
this getting locked up  a kind
of bad habit her men always
seemed to cultivate or else
she just liked them lean &
mean & horny which was
short hand for crazy, oversexed
and living out of desperation
in a fast lane that always seemed
to stop outside her door along
with plain clothes cops, uniformed
officers of the law, process servers,
repo men, eviction notice carriers,
rental furniture repossessors, none
of whom she answers the door for,
telling the kids to lie still and shut
up or else-and they did knowing
full well that her 'or else' worse
that anything they could imagine,
that could be pounding on the soon-
to-be-padlocked front door.

Son of a Hack

He is a long haired,
soft spoken angel of
mercy answering
the distress call from
the Tavern where
the old man is
ensconced incapable
of driving, two days
without sleep, hard
wired on meth, straight
black coffee, lighting
the other end of his
burnt candle with
pints of domestic beer,
sharing bedroom secrets
with his second ex-wife,
the one he married
out of lust and divorced
once he discovered
she could not only drink
him under the table but
sell the furniture for more
booze, while he was
sleeping under it,
the young man imploring,
"Dad, come on, let's go."
"I'm not going anywhere
until you get your hair cut."
"Well, it's going to be a
long day wherever you
end up before that happens
'cause if you don't come now,
it won't be at home."
Unfocused, uncomprehending
eyes stare back at him,
registering nothing.


"I gave up
drinking for
two weeks"

he said

"I just lost my
son-22 years
     he hung

I wasn't sure
how that related

to his being
sober a whole
two weeks

other than
looking at him

the way he was
now for 22 years

was what made
that boy


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