The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Brad Bisio


Aunt Sophie told me about that

time in the basement when 

you waited for grandma 

in blackness with a metal pipe, 

next to twelve

empty brandy bottles.

We weren't permitted to ask 

important questions:

Why did you paint only Asian women?

How many did you love?

How many Japanese did you kill 

with that pistol in your top drawer?

Maybe the war would explain why you left your family
when my mother was a child.

Maybe it would explain why you came back,

worked that foreman job at Tow-Motor, 

drank yourself  stupid,

never painted again.

I know more about you now
than when you were alive.

What does this mean for my life

as a father, 

a husband, 

an artist?

Only clues remain:

my mother, absent from your funeral,

and me in your basement, 


playing pool in the dark, 

trying to understand the angles.

Copyright 2006-7 by Cook Communication