Vietnam Draft Father:
My father born exactly one week later is drafted. He leaves the repair shop at Kimbers and smooches Miss July goodbye for jungle brothels and napalm. One night he strips naked because the bullwhips of heat julienne his skin forged in rural frost. A ripple of gunfire whistles across his mouth like a harmonica and this poem is not written.
While at Kimbers, a Homelite rep offers my dad a job as Apartheid thaws. This new South Africa needs farm equipment and reliable hands. We’re talking serious money, man. You want a family, right? That girl you’re dating went to college? Sailing lessons? You think you can afford a better life for How Jr. wasting around these dopes? So my father boards his first plane to Homelite’s compound and an upbringing combusts oil rainbows into engine infernos and this poem is not written.
My dad leaves for maintenance work and I know where the key rests and I’m left alone and he sacrificed and I leaked promise and soap operas and still at home and the student loans and woodland ghosts and
Jeffrey H. MacLachlan also has recent or forthcoming work in New Ohio Review, Eleven Eleven, The William & Mary Review, among others. He teaches literature at Georgia College & State University. He can be followed on Twitter @jeffmack.