Dad

Denise Krebs

sometimes symphonies
remain unfinished
a long, long time ago
he was 43 years old
the devil’s only friend

the day the music died
he was singing
bye bye
too many kids to feed
too many emotions to weed
bye bye cigarettes
bye bye vodka

before they married
his widowed bride
was blind to
all the minor keys
in which he played
his childhood
a telling overture of the whole
rhythm and blues opera
what would an
abusive alcoholic’s
magnum opus
be anyway
maybe it was the
seven kids lost in space
trying not to misstep
bad news on the doorstep

they turned out nice
not into vice
stayed out of jail
tried not to fail
cute at all costs
not too many lost
to dysfunction with alcohol

one
when promoted to chp captain
asked mom
watched him on the stage
hands clenched in fists of rage
do you think dad would be proud yet

Note from Denise about the poem: Stacey Joy’s prompt was multiple-stepped but doable. I loved that. It was still my first week, and I wasn’t too confident. This poem was healing for me. In addition, Stacey’s prompt has inspired me to write other similar poems over the past months. (For instance, the Amaud Arbery poem for September’s Quick Write.)

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