A Poem by John Grey

His drunken father hit his head on a bench,
died of an aneurysm.

His sister left home at sixteen,
is living on the west coast somewhere.

His older brother moved in with a young nurse,
she supports him while he looks for work.

His mother works a job and a half,
for the money, to fill the time.

So he’s alone a lot, watching television,
playing video games.

Whatever’s on the screen,
the good guys always win.

But when he’s up against aliens,
they wipe him out every time.

It’s a mixed message.
But it’s the only one he’s got.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dalhousie Review and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Qwerty, Chronogram and failbetter.

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