Daddy Dearest

by Kevin Heaton

The razor wire precision of father’s
defined scorn is a gauntlet of lancets

into his mind’s perfect dungeon. He
ferments there, sipping at the altar-

ego behind his iron mask; whispering
fractured lullabies into my puppy

nightmares—sating himself on iodine
ladybugs and fronds from clotted poppies.

Musical composition by Victor David Sandiego

Kevin Heaton is originally from Kansas and Oklahoma, and now lives and writes in South Carolina. His work has appeared in a number of publications including: Guernica, Rattle, Slice Magazine, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Adroit Journal, and Verse Daily. He is a Best of the Net, Best New Poets, and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee.