Father’s Day

On the last day of Spring, they’re going to give my dad a medal
for killing gooks and raising children in the Reagan eighties

Outside, drenched in starlight and the muggy grasp of a Midwest Summer’s eve
I’ll cradle a glass of eighty proof and melted ice
“A toast to abandonment”
to recall, fondly, being young enough to believe in God, or the fear of him
His watchful eyes, his meaty palms and his reclining form on Sunday afternoons

One by one,
whether by bus or by plane, with alcohol tremors or high school diplomas,
we all found a way to leave
the womb

What’s left of memory is carefully disseminated amongst us like corners of a treasure map
All of us holding tightly to our pieces of the puzzle
wrong, but right to clasp onto all that connects us to an innocence, abandoned
when we were sent off to fight a war no one could win

And like our dads who abandoned us, or who we abandoned,
who even knows,
we’ve come here to receive our medals of valor
for living long enough to make our own mistakes
And maybe even admit them.

4 thoughts on “Father’s Day

  1. Can’t believe your ears didn’t stay that way as much as we made you make that face! Unfortunately, mine did. Love you brother and thanks for writing this.

    • With most of the stuff you guys made me do, I’m just lucky I lived.

  2. I wish I could write like this. Must be a huge release to be able to put all these emotions to paper. I never seem to get them past a fleeting thought which I instinctively push to the furthest points of my rusted memory. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

    Well written, bro.

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