A Poetry Sporadical of Repeating Forms

You Took the Kids

by Ed Shacklee

You took the kids. I got the car,
the one that took me fast and far;
not the one with all the doors—
you’ve got the kids, so that one’s yours.
I kept the booze, the mini-bar,

cyclopean olives in a jar
that stare at me and ask what are
the odds he’ll drown, the way he pours?
You took the kids

when nights grew cold, the lies bizarre;
two little casualties of war
who now, long distance, post-divorce,
say “Ed,” not “Dad,” to prod this source
of tenderness beneath the scar:
you took the kids.

Ed Shacklee s a public defender who represents young people in the District of Columbia. His poems have appeared in Angle, The Flea, Light Quarterly, Lucid Rhythms and Shot Glass Journal, among other places.


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