“My Son No Longer Missing” by Susan Vespoli

Susan Vespoli


I like to think he graduated
from the methadone clinic,
now does yoga, gave up

smoking. I like to think he grew
a new set of bright teeth
to replace the ones that rotted.

I like to think he rents a studio
with a patio near the canal
filled with crappies and sunfish

not nodding off with homeless junkies.
I like to think he leans back
in an Adirondack, after loading

the dishwasher with cupcake pans
from birthday muffins like the ones
he baked for me topped with candles

that he brought to the Mex place
where he hired a trio of sequined
mariachis to serenade us

as we dined on cheese enchiladas.
I like to think he is waiting
for just the right minute of the right hour

of the right day to reappear

to tell me he is living

free of pills and booze and meth
and smack and at the end
of each long hot Phoenix day,

he drops himself
into the cool blue complex pool,
then emerges shiny, dripping.

from Poets Respond
July 23, 2019


Susan Vespoli: “What started as a free-flowing prescription for pain pills for back pain turned into a heroin addiction, and eventually an eraser.” (web)

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