A Poem On the Eve of my Father’s Birthday (revised)

Note: the old draft of this poem can be found elsewhere on how to drawn an owl
–GDM

We never gorged on cake or candle smoke.  Never
did you unwrap a single gift.  Never wanted anything.

What you liked: fart jokes and beer.  Even when fishing,
your pole tickled water with you on the bank annoyed.

Fish swam suicidally toward you anyhow.  You who
never managed to let a good time linger.  You who raised

me right.  The times I’d rather been a bastard than your
son, I was to blame.  I know that now.  Now you’re gone.

One Mardi Gras after a shooting we went to Grande Cochile,
caught speckled trout three times over legal limits.  No boats

for miles.  Your finest moment. You felt fine the day you died.
Connived to return a faulty orange cord you bought on sale.

Undaunted you went back to grocery, bought a new extension
at the normal price.  You’d get your money back, and more.

After the appointment, when you died leaving the hospital
receipt in wallet and cord bagged on the passenger seat,

you never got your chance.  Now I have you wallet, the receipt,
both cords, and the van you drove after you sold your truck.

And when I wrote the poem about the time you caught
a human jaw instead of trout, no one in class believed me.

You grabbed it slimy from the line, set it drown.  Still
I smell it drying on the hot gray bow.  A warden came

like the reaper, snatch the bagged jaw and carried it away.
That’s where we spread you, where we caught the jaw.

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