For Ken


M.J. Pattee

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 120 in October, 2009.

For Ken
w/ his Pontiac grin
who always ate his
shit sandwich
w/ a smile on his face
who took deep breaths
as big as 1965
while death,
ate away
at his lungs
who lived through
5 ex-wives
2 suicides
an asshole father
and cancer
and had the purple heart
to prove it
who ate blueberry pancakes
and left Texas
on his plate
who gave his heart
to his sister
but left his soul
in Austin
who made his bed
in Madison
but didn’t sleep
till Superior
who found his dream
in Peru
and lived just
long enough
to see it come true
still proud
standing tall as
Sears Tower
while death
moved through his body
at a snails pace
only to feel
like the speed of a bullet Pg. 2
released from its
steely chamber
at the end