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Marc Swan

Marc Swan is a retired vocational rehabilitation counselor. His poems have recently been published or forthcoming in Scrivener Creative Review, Clover, Shot Glass Journal, Gargoyle, Nuclear Impact Anthology, among others. His third collection, Simple Distraction, was published by Tall-Lighthouse, London, England. He lives with his wife Dd in Portland Maine.

Hide and Seek

My father-in-law was a runner. The story was
he ran with Jesse Owens in the ’36 Olympics. I did
a Google search, no results. He may have had
some fame in his homeland. Finns love
their sports figures. It’s been a long time. I remember
a good man in a bad situation. Early in life
he married a difficult woman, had two children,
built houses for a living, built his house
on a cul-de-sac curved into the flow of the street.
Masterful when you think about it. His problem
was drink. His wife sloshed scotch, chastised him
constantly for drinking too much beer. I never
heard him raise his voice, hit a child, beat the dog.
It seems he needed a different life, didn’t know
how to find it. In the garage workshop where he spent
most of his free time was a laundry basket.
If you dug deep into soiled clothing you’d find
empty Stroh’s bottles, lingering drops
dripping on a blouse, towel, his wife’s underwear.
Imagine his constant state of disrepair, not thinking
of the finding, mostly focused on the hiding.
I recently watched a TV series called Carnivàle.
In opening credits there’s a scene from the ’36 Olympics.
I swear the lean Scandinavian looking guy
closing in on Jesse at breakneck
speed is my father-in-law with nothing to hide.

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