CRYSTAL J. ZANDERS
My Dad Used to Tell a Funny Story
about beating the family dog in the front yard.
A horrified pedestrian
berated him in German
then threatened to call the Polizei.
Polizei is one of the few words
I remember in German.
I remember laughing less and less
as he told the story,
but I don’t speak of it now.
It isn’t worth the conversation.
We had the conversation,
when I questioned
the wisdom of keeping guns
in shoeboxes stashed in closets
in a house where children played.
“They weren’t loaded,”
began the next hour’s defense.
I knew to keep my peace.
Peace that I used to keep
riding in the car next to him
seatbelt biting into the bottom of my chin
as he drank discreetly
from the bottle in the brown bag.
I leaned my head against the window
watching the world go by in a blur
of beauty supply stores and Asian massage parlors.
I was too young to know about the happy ending.
CRYSTAL J. ZANDERS is a poet, teacher, and pug-owner who lives in Albuquerque where she is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of New Mexico. Her work has been featured in |tap| lit, 45th Parallel, and Mud Season Review.
READ AND LISTEN
Issue 12 #CompanionPlaylist