Pagosa Springs Artists

Losing Touch


  At age nine, half the age when he
  would leave home for good, Michael
  still believed in Santa Claus.  His dark-eyed
  soulful look was still trusting and sweet.

  His father, a small town attorney campaigning
  in five Illinois counties for judge that summer,
  joked that NewYork City newspapers, where
  we were headed for a family vacation, wouldn’t
  know he, the candidate, was coming to town.
  Mike naively said,  Dad, just give them a call
  and tell them you’re here now.  Guffaw.

  Mike left in a huff one night during his senior year,
  all his necessities stuffed in a garbage bag slung
  over his back; left home and never moved back
  because his parents wouldn’t cut him any more
  slack.  Went to live with friends, one after another.
  Moved around a lot. Lost good jobs. Tested both
  his kids and marriage.  Aged his parents. Walked
  away from debts.  Forgot what it was to be rooted.

  We couldn’t read the look in his eyes as he took
  what he wanted eluding the price, ignoring the risks.
  His reply was always slick.  Fooled everyone,
  including  himself.  But in the end, the law won.




first published in BEHIND PRISON WALLS Chapbook

©2011 Bonnie Manion


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