My father, who rises before dawn
and lets my mother dream alone,
sits beneath the small light
over the kitchen table, his grasping
hands illumined on a mug, half
his unforgiven face also, as he stares
into the black hole of his coffee.
Michael Dwayne Smith lives near a Mojave Desert ghost town with his family and rescued animals. His most recent book is Roadside Epiphanies, and his work haunts many literary houses, including The Cortland Review, New World Writing, Star 82 Review, Blue Fifth Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Gravel, and San Pedro River Review. He edits Mojave River Press & Review.