i was walking out of a liquor store
and he came right at me
with his grey hair and dyed mustache
i realized it was the ghost
of my incarcerated father,
who I’ve been searching
for all my life.
when the rest of the world has let me down,
I amuse myself in the dark with jokes and
invisible girlfriends, waiting for the next best thing
to happen in my imagination, if not ever in this
extinguished flame we know as the disappointment
of reality, a reality we struggle in our words
to transform the pain into something profound.
About the Author: Kevin Ridgeway is the author of Too Young to Know (Stubborn Mule Press). Recent work can be found in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Main Street Rag, The American Journal of Poetry, Big Hammer, Trailer Park Quarterly and So it Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.
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Image Credit: Walker Evans “Sidewalk and Shopfront, New Orleans” (1935) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program