My girlfriend and I used to picnic
on the rugby field of Pomona College
where the man who wrote my mother’s
favorite song was victorious in his athleticism,
an overachiever who freed kindred spirits
like her onto the open highway
with the love of her life on a high-speed
gypsy chase to prove to the naysayers
her love for my father would last forever
as she belted out the pain she conquered
in the vibrato of her epic voice.
She blew my friends away
when she rocked the fuck out
of that song and I listened
to it with everyone else
at her funeral,
when she was gone
followed shortly after
by my girlfriend,
but that rugby field is still there
and the songwriter’s an old man
whose music transformed
my mother into a champion.
is the author of Too Young to Know (Stubborn Mule Press). Recent work has appeared in Chiron Review, Cultural Weekly, Literary Orphans, Main Street Rag, Nerve Cowboy, Plainsongs, San Pedro River Review, Slipstream, Spillway, The American Journal of Poetry, The Cape Rock, and Trailer Park Quarterly, among many others. He lives and writes in Long Beach, CA.