Half-Curse

Austin Allen

Fall 2018

As he was riding home to visit his mother,
the train slowed to a standstill. Heavy weather.
He didn’t like to think about his father,

much less take after him, but like his father
he loved to curse. He started snarling, “Mother—”
over the low roar of the gray, wet weather

thrashing outside. He paused, wondering whether
some kid would stare, or laugh, if he went further.
(Was it this same checked impulse, or some other,

that used to help his mother weather his father?)

Austin Allen’s first poetry collection, Pleasures of the Game (Waywiser Press, 2016), was awarded the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. He is a doctoral student in creative writing at the University of Cincinnati.

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