My father traveled to the far solitudes.
My father ate religion.
My father was a monkey riding show ponies.
He’d come home years later.
He had a jezebel at every gas station.
He had a fist like a bus.
Often mother would leave out cookies and cream.
She’d bundle us under her apron.
She exhausted her plenitudes and riches.
O daddy-o, like an imaginary friend.
Like a candle puffed out at both ends.
Like Cro-Magnon man counting up to ten.
So then mum buried herself.
She took to the high wires and two fridges.
She petted the boarder.
Not much fun for we thirteen kids.
Not much cop with these ciphers and struggling.
A hell of an example for the wee bairns.
I remember the Xmas tree on fire
and something being thrown from a bridge.
I remember the act of forgetting.
That there were questions we could never put to him.
The Cadillac shimmer.
His long black coat and his wicked glare.
And poor ma, with her head out the window.
Poor ma, embroiled with the children,
and her spirit broken.
Pushcart-nominee Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician with over 800 publications, including Poetry.com and The North American Review. His first book, The So-Called Sonnets is available from the Silenced Press website or via Amazon books. To hear his music and view more poems visit his website: http://www.bpmcrae.com, or ‘TheBruceMcRaeChannel.’