Staying Silver Ponyboy

For my father, Ross Silver

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A great man is not measured by his accomplishments,

By the money in his wallet.

Greatness is measured in sacrifice

It’s recognizing the work of the sole’s

At every shoe bottom

Sewn to heel

To walk out the door

To something greater.

We pass down carbon

Like treasured heirlooms

And though there are many days

Where I can’t manage the resources to stand

I feel your strength in my legs, sitting.

I’ve been blessed in this life

And for the nanograms

Lost in the wandering transition

From life into the ethereal

I’ll be blessed after.

You poor insomniac

Granting me pleasures of privilege

In the witching hour

As well as mid-day

In the trenches

And on their pedestal.

Who could doubt

The suffering

Of a scimitar back

Pressure treated

From years of brick and mortar?

Who could doubt

The callous hands

Of the forgotten working man?

I need a Father.

We fight, we argue
I resolve the conflict

“Sometimes I feel like you’re the adult”

I don’t have time for anything but,
I need a father

Incompetent,
he believes.
I can change
That. World.

Inadequacy creates
A bird in a cage
We are

He doesn’t know
He won’t
He did before
But discouragement
And experience
Has taken it all.

The Scarlet Cooler

Her toes sink into the mud
cold beers daddy pulls out of
the cooler
she lays on the blanket
lifting her skirt

feeling the warm sun
on the back of her thighs
he watches
drinking cold corona
out of his scarlet cooler
the scared yet?
cooler
darker than blood

She lifts her foot
but the mud rises
daddys drinking cold corona
out of his red cooler
she shrieks disbelief
“Daddy why?
Daddy
I don’t want to die”

His head spins
“where’d that little
bitch
run to?”
grabbing her by the wrist
he pulls
“Daddy it hurts”

He grazes the crotch of his jeans
and he pulls
“STOP DAD”

“shut up”

she cries
screams
he hears a crack
and her arm lies limp at her side

Lifting her over his shoulder
his hand on the back of her thighs

standing erect
slurring
bronze

“My arm Daddy.”

Lying her down on the blanket
he cracks open another beer

Daddy Issues.

There’s a special bond between a mother and a son
It can be found
In dark studio apartments,
Dog day depressions

In the glow of breakneck streets
In junkyard lots of devastated confusion

In vexed tears
In daisies cradled in the barrel of M16s
The muscles holding up the fist
The breath of the air
The sun in the sky
Passion’s flame
Climbing dirt and diamonds

At times it burns like tire fires
And race riots in L.A.
But In the end
It burns like magnesium