Detective Work

A Memoir by Luanne Castle

Every night after dinner, she lingers over the evidence board, linking her father’s lies with turkey-trussing twine. One of the index cards reads Forced me to sell biz at knifepoint. Another: Did not punch asshole in movie line. She unpins and flips over the card: no matter what your brother swears he saw. This one connects to a Post-it, my own father’s fault if I was angry, but I’m not. Every note is strung to the photo of her father with a pack of cigs rolled in his sleeve, resting on his shoulder. She places the last string from the sticky note to the portrait of her father’s father, a man she never met and her father barely knew, a man who had ignored his secret second family until he died. Stepping back to get an overall view, she senses something still missing, then catches her reflection in the mirror. 

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Luanne Castle’s award-winning full-length poetry collections are Rooted and Winged (Finishing Line 2022) and Doll God (Kelsay 2015). Her chapbooks are Our Wolves (Alien Buddha 2023) and Kin Types (Finishing Line 2017), a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. Luanne’s Pushcart and Best of the Net-nominated poetry and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in Bending Genres, Dribble Drabble Review, Copper Nickel, and other journals. She lives with five cats in Arizona along a wash that wildlife use as a thoroughfare.

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