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The Escort

Dad & I paced back and forth in some
denominationally unfamiliar church’s lot,
staring at an idling Escort engine with eyes
like floodlights tripped by a neighbor’s cat

“It’s a good first car,”
he pronounced, his best guess at what
he must have thought I needed to hear

Long stretches of Jersey sunlight
strobed onto the windshield through
hanging bridge cables when I drove it home
to flunk its Pennsylvania inspection

Maybe your Dad was infallible, with
a will that sought to make you shudder
Mine has never pretended to anything;
he smirked, quietly paying $700 in repairs

CHRIS MIDDLEMAN grew up in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and now lives, writes, and works in Seattle. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in outlets such as Ladowich, New York Quarterly, and The Collapsar.

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