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Mark Madigan, one poem


REFUSE

If, in the moments

after we left

you pulled in

to the new Howard Johnson

Motor Lodge

you would’ve seen

two faded husks

of old black leather

collapsed together

in the morning sun.

Perhaps you’d think

some big snake

had just wriggled free

from his old skin

but it would just

have been my father

newly returned

from his first war

deciding before

he headed for the turnpike

in our packed wagon

not to wear

for one minute more

his moldy black

low-quarter shoes.

So kicking them off,

he left them there

between white lines

in the parking lot

preferring instead

the comfort of flip flops

as we drove off.

 

Mark Madigan received his MFA in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. His poems have previously appeared in The American Scholar, California Quarterly,The Louisville Review, Poetry, Tar River Poetry and other magazines.


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