Tuesday, June 22, 2010

poem of the day 06.22.10

father’s day

i go to the bar
to escape the heat
and have four long drafts
when i get home
i think i’ll call the old man
and see how the day
is treating him

hey, he answers

fucking cell phones, i think
there’s no element of surprise

happy father’s day, i say

thanks! he shouts
he seems too jovial
what’ve you been up to today?

went to the bar, i say
no point in lying
watched baseball and soccer

the bar on a sunday?
you and every old man in america

yes, i answer
and where are you?

your second cousin’s, he says
we got hot dogs and beer
and a swimming pool and the whole works
a good day for beer

where’s mom, i ask
realizing my old man has been
enjoying the beer too much

she’s off playing games, he says

good, i say
because in my head
i’m remembering father’s days
from the past
and independence days
memorial days
labor days
those damned summer holidays
that always started with hot dogs and beer
and swimming
but ended up with my mother crying
counting my old man’s beers
making a show of it
taking the wheel and his keys
when we drove home

she always said that she did it for us
but all i ever remembered was sitting
in the back of the car, seething,
as my brother cried,
thinking that i was never marrying a woman
who counted my beers and burned the day

sounds like a good time, i tell him

pretty good, he says
but it would be better if you and your brother
still lived here

i’m sure it’s fine without us, i say

it’s okay, he says
but you take care, son

you too

and stay out of those bars.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

"those damned summer holidays"

you said it all right there... I was saying it myself just this past Sunday. Nicely-balanced piece.