Charles Albert

What You Get a Man Who Has Everything?

Around my birthday every year
we go through the same tradition,
my three sons ask, earnest, clear,
self-contained in youth’s perfection.

And the warm look of their mother
whose loving, sure hands dart
from one confection to another
with all the care required, and heart.

And still, this riddle that they pose!
They never accept my answers,
plain as their Albert nose.
instead they side-step; curious dancers.

So I must name some special thing.
It must be purchased and disguised,
covered over in ribbon, bling.
As though it, not they, were the prize.


Charles Joseph Albert lives in San Jose, California with his wife and three children, where he works as a metallurgist and writes poetry and fiction on the trolley to and fro. His work has appeared recently in Amsterdam Quarterly, Collective Unrest, First Lit Review, The Apeiron Review, Asissi, The Ibis Head the MOON, the Lowestoft Chronicle, and The Literary Nest.

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