Literary Orphans

Promoted to Glory
by Kori Hensell

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my father told me he killed a man once
teary-eyed and quiver-handed
he spoke of the crosswalk
of the old black buck in the camel coat whose name had no utterance
of the mind’s distracting nature
of secrets and flesh-eating shame

 

my father is losing his mind.
a soft-jawed boy once spattered on the asphalt, pulped
a timid and lovely brain held together slapdash
by a rough-ridin’ samaritan’s denim jacket
prayers around Pittsburgh for the boy with the broken glasses
and the broken head
a wasted mother’s immigrant plea
the soul’s howled forbearance
of glory’s promotion

 

now time, no, desperation has found my father on the ground again
flailing hot in his own shy, red melancholy
vibrating reckless with a sad hope
of pyramid schemes
real estate
real rich,
real quick,
real happy,
real.
the death of a Salvationist
cursing “God bless America!”

 
–Poem by Kori Hensell