*Not your average publishing company

My Father Visits

the first fall
I live alone.

My father never
mentions the man
I just left,
The one my father
told me
to leave.

My father wears his
long woolen coat
with both sides
flapping in the wind.

He’s too busy
between airplanes
& high-balls
to button up.

My father finds
my Hans Christian Anderson
cottage in the Snow-White woods
where apple dreams
come nightly busheled
in baskets of Lady Rubies
spinning out like teacups.

My father sees
my wood stove.
& is appalled
& quietly
goes to the
hardware store.

My father climbs a
step ladder
& reaches
for the moon.

I watch his nervous
him a fool
& I’ll humor his ways.

I play Spinning Wheel.
while he sweats.

We catch a quick
dinner before
his next plane.

What my father doesn’t
know is so much.

He doesn’t know about
the addicts who shot heroin
next to my bowl of Raisin Bran
when I was in college.

He doesn’t know
about my best friend
on methadone
who lived in my front
bedroom with her pimp.

He doesn’t know I slept
in an Irish haystack.

He doesn’t know
I picked up
two hitchhiking
from Alabama.

We’re both pretending
my father’s heart
can be soothed

by a smoke detector
& two AA batteries.

Elizabeth Rose’s essays have appeared in Anti-Heroin Chic, the Boston Globe, New Mexico Review, The Worcester Journal and Escape, a collection of short memoir pieces edited by The Pathfinders Collective. Her poetry is forthcoming in Verdad and BarBar literary online magazines. She received her MFA in Creative Non-Fiction in 2019 from Lesley University. In 2020 she authored a chapter in Today’s Wonder Women: Everyday Superheroes Who Are Changing the World, by Asha Dahya. She has a psychotherapy practice and organizes the Rubbish to Runway in Massachusetts where she lives.

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