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Paul Ilechko

 Inheritance

A lack of paperwork
an emptiness of filing cabinets 
a distinct lack of manila envelopes
 
he was born unwanted 
learning at a pre-verbal age 
to tolerate the hot-potato shuffle 

his budget plywood crib
cheaply painted with angry rabbits
following him from house to house 

the aunt with oversized teeth 
would peer for a time 
from above a severe absence of chin 

and the very next day 
the hairless uncle who lacked even eyebrows 
would fail to appear surprised 

he didn’t care much where he went
as long as he was fed 
his taste in adults supremely inclusive 

but at some point in time 
the ball had to finally stop rolling 
and life then settled into an equilibrium

but everything now is upside down again
all interested parties reappearing 
as lawsuits drag anxiously on

an inheritance contested 
the entire clan eagerly awaits
to see how poor or rich he might be

and every last one of them
is prouder than they ever were before
to be recognized as his kith and kin.

Paul Ilechko
is a British American poet and occasional songwriter who lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ. His work has appeared in many journals, including The Bennington Review, The Night Heron Barks, deLuge, Stirring, and The Inflectionist Review. He has also published several chapbooks. 


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