The Wife of the Late Bloomer Bandit

It has been brought to my attention

that my father is dying

of lung cancer behind prison walls

they put him behind again and again

after he made the front page

of the local newspaper

as the mastermind

of three bank robberies

that shamed my mother

who did not live in freedom

as she waited for him

to come home

and make things right

for all of us to be together

in love while our dreams

came true and justice

was finally served

but it looks a lot different

when you see through all

its ugliness as you let him

slowly fade away when all

he wanted to do was be

among the ones

who all burned out

into an endless night

where my dead mother

no longer dreams.

KEVIN RIDGEWAY lives and writes in Long Beach, CA.  He is the author of the poetry collection "Too Young to Know" (Stubborn Mule Press).  His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, San Pedro River Review, The Cape Rock, Spillway, Up the River, Suisun Valley Review, KYSO Flash, Home Planet News, Cultural Weekly, Big Hammer, Misfit Magazine, The American Journal of Poetry and So it Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.