Daddy loads, cocks, & aims his gun.
Four young girls & their baby brother
trace the woods
by mercy of the moon.
Briar-torn legs bleed a simpler truth:
no enjoying June today.
Ever smiled an alcoholic into
burying his flask & bully?
Probably easier to patty-cake with the sun.
He tongues the last cubes
of Johnny Walker’s twist & trick.
Sleep rinses his eyes yellow-pain clear.
Own pail to pull,
bobby pin headed toward the eardrum,
the clack of dominoes,
bones on the table.
The twenty-year deal:
sober hell & jail at fifty—
alphabets to learn, son uttered strangely,
Copyright © 2021 Rodney Terich Leonard
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.