Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Poem from April Salzano

Future Perfect

The call to admit you are using again and out
of money your parents’ house a job town
and options will always come when I am out
of child support when bills are due and I am fresh
out of ideas and food and patience. You will always
ask me to call Domestics tomorrow and tell them
you paid in cash even though you didn’t
so they won’t take your driver’s license,
though you don’t need it because you are
in New York with the only friend
you have left. And I will always
answer that I can’t help you, which you will
already know, but you will call anyway.
You will say you are clean and trying
to rebuild your life. And I will
say that you’ve been saying that for two and a half years
now, and then you’ll stop seeing the kids, and I’ll say
I don’t care anyway and they are better off without you
and I will mean that but when I am tired
and out of patience I am more likely to believe
you are clean again and they will
spend one night and I will inhale and exhale
one good deep breath before I question my own judgment
but by that time they will be home again because you
will have called to say they want to come back now
and maybe that will be true. Two weeks will go by
and maybe a doctor’s appointment a report card a soccer game
another mortgage payment the hope of another deep breath
before you will call again to say you have left
town went to rehab or New York or Wisconsin or Hell
and I will probably pause what I am doing for just
a second and I might cry a little but more out of frustration
than pity but it will be the middle of the month again
and time to put the kids to bed so I will
put off thinking about it until you
call again to say you aren’t picking them up
this weekend or the next and I will have already
told myself that eventually it will all stop. And it will.

 April Salzano teaches writing at Westminster College. She has published poetry in several online and print journals and is currently working on her first collection of poems and an autobiographical novel on raising a son with Autism, if the beauty and pain allow articulation. 

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