Ohio Born

I am thinking about my father tonight,
Ohio-born in crevices of stern Lutherans
Packaging their desires
For a later time
When some would leave
The summer night’s fireflies
And the smell of hay
Or move to another part of town
That had a public pool.

Conversations were slim
About firecrackers,
Two drunk uncles,
Chinese porno cards,
And grandmother’s pregnancy
Before she met my grandfather.

The steady fires of Hell
Were never discussed
And Heaven, a Sunday word,
Out of the realm
Of possibility for the
Housewives and railroad men
Who knew the hymns
But lived their lives
Here and forever.


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