AS WE FORGIVE

KARA ROTA

 

our father who art in atlantic city

everynight, playing slot machines,

 

playing at something, our father

of the squandered unfortunes, our

 

father of the elemental blue collar

platitudes, our father (of johnny

 

carson fame) biting his stubby

nails with crowned teeth, our father

 

who art crossing the border into

indiana and staying overnight and

voting red and eating cans of corn

 

our father who art in wildwood

our father who art in west Virginia

 

our father who art in Oaxaca

our father who art in philly

 

building houses, our father

who art in reno is wretchedly

 

overruled, and we do not sell

the house and buy a camper

 

and a small dog and a parakeet

and travel America, and maybe

Canada too, us three, patenting

imaginative but practical inventions

and cooking potatoes wrapped

in aluminum nestled in the warm

corners of fires, kept carefully

in their circles

with burn-scarred but

enduring gray bricks

 

 

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