Snapshot of My Natural Father and Other Poems


Snapshot of My Natural Father

I wish I could find
the snapshot of him standing
in front of the Flamingo Hotel
in Las Vegas, the dream child
of Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky,
his two favorite gangsters,
the killers who created the strip
of garishness and greed
in the desert, that mecca
that loomed as a short flight
from Phoenix, he could go
on a dare or a hunch
for a twenty-four-hour play
and then stroll back
into the office Monday morning
ready to take advantage
of anyone who walked through
the door to sell scrap metal,
he came by it honestly,
he said, his need to deal
and get the upper hand,
he didn’t care how he won,
I couldn’t tell if he was bluffing
when we crowded around
the poker table for his birthday
and he boasted
that he always wanted to join
the Bugs and Meyer Mob,
Murder, Inc.,
but he was too young
and didn’t have one thing
it takes to succeed,
physical courage.

Don’t Hitchhike

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