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The Scattering

By Crystal Ockenfuss

They’re closing Sinbad’s a bar I’ve been to in a city I hardly know. And yet I mourn the place the way I do a great uncle I rarely saw — just knowing he was still alive served me as an anchor, the thought of him rusting away in the Zephyr Grill or at the Schupper- haus made it easier to believe my childhood was right where I left it, there under the table at some grown-up’s feet, next to a square pocket- book or behind the frayed pool table, the comforting clink of the balls racking up, that perfect moment before the split when children are certain the scattering is for the best and the only way to win. Contributor’s Note: CRYSTAL OCKENFUSS is a Buffalo-area native who studied modern poetry with Robert Creeley as an undergraduate at the University at Buffalo. She went on to study German and cultural anthropology in graduate school at the University of Virginia. Her first chapbook of poems, “The Hobo Alphabet” was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2013.