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Stp. Gran. Dad.

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Poem by Frankie Metro


I had to wait
for him to
call me a shithead
several times,
before I decided he
looked like my grandfather,

the one who would
come around on Sundays
and give me a fiver —
expressly for the collection plate
at a Southern Baptist Church,
passed down a pew
that was shoddy
and put a crick in my neck
that made me
blasphemous.

It’s been a long time
since Sunday school,
and I’ve desecrated
a few more
altars since then …

and even though I can hardly
remember his first name anymore,
I can still hear
that toothless, tobacco
stick whacking away
at our family tree,
trying to shake out the
persimmons in my lungs —

a puckered fucker
of a man
in John Deere coveralls
and offensive breath.

It always smelled the worst
when he would hand
me that fiver and say,
“It’s for the plate,”
to which I refused.

He would simply reply:
“Shithead … Shithead … Shithead,”
and hold that crummy piece of paper
in the air
until I finally took it.

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FRANKIE METRO is one-third of the editorial team at Kleft Jaw Press and writes reviews for Unlikely Stories Episode: IV. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and has been published in numerous anthologies and journals. His first poetry chapbook, The Anarchist’s Blac Book of Poetry, was published by Crisis Chronicles Press. This piece was a finalist for the 2013 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry.

The Coil

Literature to change your lightbulb.

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