Jon Riccio

My father, not so much a disciplinarian

as he was a chiropractor’s moat.

VA clothing allowance in one hand,

Velcro neck brace in the other,

the umbrage a heating pad made

the day his sciatica decided

it was a periwinkle blue.

The union steward, more handsome

in pamphlet than person,

a Knights of Columbus flyer

lodged in the mailbox pulpit,

faux-sworded men smiling

on our address,

a crown of golf tees

circling the water softener,

the gutters tattered in repose.

Their leaves a cuneiform gentler

than spray-painted chrome.

My letter-carrier father,

treasurer for the Sons and Daughters of Italy,

his filing cabinet the Dante of workman’s comp.

Foreclosure, not so far off.

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