by Kelly Nelson

I did it.
Proved to myself I could
stay out of trouble

nearly two years
and could’ve kept at it
but Sophie kept riding me

more and more irritable
the bigger she got
and the boys at the bar always welcomed me in.

Mornings I couldn’t face
the pulleys, the slip knots
the sprockets. Boss said

too many no shows
he won’t take me back
but I’d been planning to quit anyway.

I’ve let my bills go. I still owe
for Sophie’s ring, the boy’s
dresser and crib

I don’t want
to be the father
who brings nothing for his son

so I’m shimmying up
this telephone pole, two in the morning
Mort behind me carrying the tools.

Copyright 2015, Kelly Nelson

Kelly Nelson is the author of the chapbooks Rivers I Don’t Live By and Who Was I to Say I Was Alive. Her poems have appeared recently in RHINO, Prime Number and Quarter After Eight. She teaches Interdisciplinary Studies at Arizona State University. 

Kelly says “‘Attempted’ is part of a lyric biography I am writing about my uncle who spent nearly twenty years in prison. He was a master at rationalizing his bad behavior!”

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