Issue #11

Hail Mary

And while his father was in the shop
buying cigs, chatting up the cashier,
he reached for the family claw hammer
and smashed the dials of the white van,
going at the mileage they'd done,
the speed at which they'd travelled to get here.
It occurred to him
that things would not be the same from this point.
There'd been other signs:
rashers pegged out on the washing line,
the mystery of the garrotted dog.
The rosary hanging from the mirror
is unhooked, and each bead is threaded
through finger and thumb.
He sees his dad exit the shop, smile,
tap a cigarette on the ingot pack
click and spin the Zippo on his thigh, exhale.

Karl Riordan