Monday, July 23, 2007

End Game

End Game

He aimed to live large, declare his independence,
But along the way, he lost so many things:

His dad and brother in those cold Kentucky mines,
Beneath twenty tons of coal and slate

Front teeth gone in that bad fall
On that crazy roan at Keeneland

Wife and son soon after the bankruptcy
After he got out of the hospital - no insurance.

He guessed he lost his liver
To too many visits with Mr. Jack,
And later on, with Ripple.

Face carved by sun and smokes,
What abides,
After all these years:
Cigarettes and booze.

He never calculated on
Living so long,
Never thought he’d be old.
What he values now,
A chance for clean and warm.

Betsy McKenzie
July 23, 2007


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