Monday, May 15, 2017

Frankie Boy by John Grey


He tethered his pit-bull to the last fencepost standing.
He slept in an old truck on blocks.

Scars struggled with tattoos for control of his surfaces.
The stream behind the old mill was his personal washtub.
His old man died drunk and in debt.
His mother was a memory of bright red lipstick
forever missing the target of her lips.
He took odd jobs where he could.
And panhandled. And dealt. And used his fists
when convincing otherwise was required.

He had a brother who either died in the Gulf War
or was serving time in state prison.
depending on who you asked.
He tried to enlist but was turned down.
He drove an old Chevy with an exhaust like a farting Goliath.
Parents warned their children about him.
He played two roles in the lives of those kids  -
what could harm them, what they could become.

The cops were always stopping him to give him a hard time.
They were too late. He already had one.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Sheepshead Review, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Poem and Spoon River Poetry Review.  

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