by Anne R. Allen
No one will ever love him the way his mother did
between her first and second drink,
while they waited for Daddy to come home,
when Daddy still came home
She’d love him with puppy-promises and bicycle-dreams—
a silver-blue one with tassels on the handlebars; a dog named Shep—
and going out for ice cream, maybe, after dinner,
and those trips they’d take into the Bronx, to the zoo
They only got to the zoo that one time
After Daddy left, and she tried to sneak him in
on a kid’s ticket even though he was a big, fat thirteen-year-old by then.
They were escorted off the property by men in uniforms, after she made
He never did get the bike—or the puppy.
Although he dog-sat for the neighbors’ Rottweiler once.
He locked it in the cellar and sat in the silver-blue Barcalounger,
eating Rocky Road, and watching reruns of
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