Thom Francis


The smell of listerine on my fathers breath meant
he was heading off to work for the day

That same smell of mouth wash on my mothers breath meant
dad was on his way and it was time to hide the evidence.

She wore perfume to mask what
she was up to while he was gone

He chain smoked with the windows up in his car
to hide another woman’s scent

He showers before and after all his appointments
and he is never clear as to where he’s been
you can only golf so many days a week
without being on the PGA tour

She scrubs her flesh under scalding water
trying to get to the clean parts and reclaim that fresh innocence
each time she strays away
physically or not

She never wants this to end
this is what she has been told is right and true
she is meant to be here waiting for him, hoping for more

He never wants this to end
this is what he’s been telling her is right and true
he is destined for greatness and she must be ready for the ride


Thom Francis is the president of Albany Poets and has been organizing, promoting, and hosting open mics and poetry / spoken word events in Albany such as Nitty Gritty Slam, School of Night, Albany Poets Presents…, and the Albany Word Fest for over 13 years. As a poet and performer, Thom has been featured at many of the upstate poetry and spoken word events from Saratoga to Woodstock as well as LarkFest, Art on Lark, 1st Friday, and the Albany Word Fest.

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