Kevin Ridgeway: “Son of the Late Bloomer Bandit”



Son of the Late Bloomer Bandit

The cops raided our house
and my parents were both taken 
to jail.  I had no choice but to 
identify my father 
in surveillance videos.
I was subpoenaed 
by the district attorney.  
I sat in the echoing marble halls
of the courthouse 
across from the young bank tellers 
he terrorized, both of them girls 
my age who glared at me 
when they recognized 
his sinister face in mine. 
My testimony helped
send my father to prison 
for the rest of his life.
It’s been ten years 
and now my mother 
is dead and no longer held 
captive in the epic misery, 
of his fiendish lifelong search
for a chemical escape.
He said heroin made him 
closer and unafraid of death, 
numb to his own doom.  
They announced his 
life sentence on the front page
of the local newspaper, my 
name was never mentioned.
They did not want to believe 
he had a son who 
was more dangerous 
to them with deep wounds 
gone unhealed.  I will kidnap 
their fathers if I ever decide 
to return to claim 
what they all robbed 
from me.  I will be 
reunited with 
my father in prison, 
where we will start 
a massive riot to burn 
the walls down,  He 
and I will escape from 
the smoking rubble
back into a world 
where people tried
to throw us all away.



About the Author: Kevin Ridgeway is the author of Too Young to Know (Stubborn Mule Press). Recent work has appeared in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Main Street Rag, Cultural Weekly, Gasconade Review, The American Journal of Poetry and So it Goes:  The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, among others.  A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, he lives and writes in Long Beach, CA.


More By Kevin Ridgeway:

Fake Dad

500 Channels and Nothing On

Sally with the Accent

Good Timing


Image Credit: Charles Street Jail Complex, Jail, 215 Charles Street, Boston, Suffolk County, MA. The Library of Congress

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