Poetry by Kenneth Pobo


swims for barely fifteen minutes,
drips to the changing room,
and steals flip-flops
or beach balls, knowing

some kid will be mightily upset—
he remembers when his mom
told him couldn’t ride his bike
for a week, he had sassed her,

and he got mightily upset too.
He tosses the flip-flops
in the back of his truck,
drives to Montrose Lake—

by the shore, old tires, condoms,
cigarette butts, and a map
to Tryst Falls Baptist Church.
After he lights the flip-flops,

they smolder–he’s got time,
what’s there to do in Micah
but watch the night
cover cornfields in darkness

so it can pull the red
petals off of Mrs. Gutaway’s
Mirandy rose, burning
rubber a comfort,

like a story he was told
when he was five
about a lightning bug
on a string that broke free.


In the antique store
I look for books about
how to quilt though I lack
patience, can barely sew

a button on. A stranger
and I get to talking.
Her wedding ring,
a goldfish swimming
down her finger. I had
a goldfish when I was eight.
Dead in a month. She reaches in
her coat pocket, pulls out a tract
I toss after her car pulls away.

Someday I might go to church,
the same way I may make a quilt.

I buy two musty books
I leaf through before I fall
asleep at night, dream
of Magdalene, the grief
that sewed her heart together,
the grief

that broke the stitches.


About Kenneth Pobo

A former Ray’s Road Review contributor, Kenneth Pobo had a chapbook called Save My Place published by Finishing Line Press in 2012.  Forthcoming chapbooks are Placemats from Eastern Point Press and Highway Rain from Poet’s Haven Press.  He is currently working on collections for both his Dindi and his Spacker characters.