Thank God Robert Was With Me

When a


hit my line

the drag

sang like a baritone sax

in a dance band—

in five minutes

he was halfway

to Portugal

where the big boats come in—

but my son

reeled him back

from his long swim

in handcuffs

all the blood

in his body gone

like butter—


tipped off the law

he said

over and over


in a movie

like when

a man


smokes a cigarette

before hanging

JOHN STUPP is the author of the 2007 Main Street Rag chapbook, The Blue Pacific, and the 2015 full-length collection, Advice from the Bed of a Friend, also by Main Street Rag. He has lived and worked in various states as a jazz musician, university instructor, taxi driver, radio news writer, waiter, auto factory laborer and paralegal.