Poetry by Steve Meador

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.

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