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Pa Greasy


By John Grey

he rolls his own cigarettes,

spits and cusses,

never takes a bath,

or cleans what's left

of his teeth,

likes to show off

his scars from Vietnamese bullets,

rolls dice with the guys

in engine company four

who tolerate the smell

because he always loses -

he loves his drink of course,

and country songs,

the ones even his rough voice

can't kill -

he's got cancer

but he won't see a doctor -

and family too

though they keep out

of each other's way -

only his pension check

knows his name -

he sleeps under a traffic bridge

and will die within the month -

but this is a poem

about a life -

we all get one -

even Pa

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.