Unliving in Limbo
My father was a puss hound and a drunk
who could sniff out bad snatch, or good rum,
a block away. A part-time handyman, he’d
semi-scam anyone to support those habits.
I was cheated out of a summer’s worth of pay.
He was a missionary, riding barstools and bedsprings
from sundown to sunup, then sunrise till dusk.
Everybody within elbow’s poke was a potential
convert. He thumped on me even after I was married,
introducing me to a waitress at a favorite spot,
I am the father, here is the son. Make him a holy ghost.
Their laughing lungs exuded a shroud of scotch and rum,
then she kissed him and ground her crotch on his knee.
Whatever you want baby, but you can’t run a tab on ass.
Later he charmed his way out of a beating and to a place
at the man’s table for Sunday supper. This shit carried on
night after night, day after day. He finally straddled a donkey
making roundtrips between Styx and the pearly gates, stopping
at neither until there were apologies or acknowledgements.