Monday, October 29, 2018

Vacation With Dave By Michael Dwayne Smith

Wind last night was unexpected. It’ll flash flood soon.
My father was Air Force. Never got near an airplane
except commercial flights. Had the polio. The Bible
thumped through his heart while he kept books at

Edwards Air Base. To escape sleeping in a chicken
coop, he lied and was Merchant Marine by 14,
and got a Judy Garland tattoo. The best days of his life,
he said, were between ships in Puerto Rico. Thanks,

Dad, is what we all said. Oh, you kids, Mom would
interject, Why don’t you run along now, smoke some
grass, maybe drop acid. At least that’s what it sounded
like to me at 14. Once, I dreamed she had passed and

when I prayed to her in heaven she said, Wonderful
to hear from you, son, but it’s a bad time. Be sure to
call back later, okay? Love you, gotta go.
Dad died driving his 280 Z head-on into a light pole

on the Covina Boulevard off ramp of the northbound
57 freeway, after being found out with Mrs. Ballard
from church. Mom never let on about Dad and
Mrs. Ballard to me or my brother, Dave, who later

grew a beard, took up with a Scientology woman called
“Snow” and got 5-to-10 for idling in a getaway Ford
while Snow tried to hold up Desert Community Bank
in Victorville, with a pink aluminum bat. Mom keeps

telling me to fetch Dad and Dave, that we should
have them over for dinner. Then the nurse comes in,
asks You doing okay, Love? and makes sure Mom
takes her pill. To help her remember, the nurse says

brightly, but I can’t get caught up in what things mean
or feeling bad about Mom’s failing brain—tonight I
help Dave escape on a train, slip onto a south sailing
cargo ship. After that, it’s us and sunny Puerto Rico.




About Michael Dwayne Smith:

Michael Dwayne Smith is most recently author of the poetry collection Roadside Epiphanies (Cholla Needles Press), available at MojaveRiverPress.storenvy.com. Nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, his work haunts hundreds of literary houses--such as The Cortland Review, New World Writing, Star 82 Review, Blue Fifth Review, Gravel, Word Riot, San Pedro River Review, Chiron Review--and has been widely anthologized. He lives near a Mojave Desert ghost town with his family and rescued animals.

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