For two hundred dollars an hour
I can get a doctor to tell me
why I talk to my dad more now
than when he was here.
Maybe as I get older
and closer to his age
I’m finally seeing things
the way he did or find some kind
of comfort in talking to him
from inside my head
Dad always got the tough jobs, you know,
and I, I was the toughest job he ever had.
I spat on people. They teased me.
I bopped them with my sister’s baton.
They teased me, and laughed at me.
I bit them on the ass.
They stuffed me in a garbage can.
So it fell to him to be the bearer
of the swift and mighty blow
to bring the little bastard to his senses
or to render him senseless so he
couldn’t hurt anyone for a while.
And eventually, somehow, it worked
I went from being mad at the world
and I became afraid of the world.
Afraid of the attic,
afraid to climb on the roof,
afraid to speak in class,
afraid to be laughed at, picked on,
beat up and beat down.
And afraid of the dark,
and afraid of my father’s voice
But these decades later I find
We talk more now
and I have a different view
of him and the twenty few years
we spent together.
I know he was winging it
and I was a whirling dervish.
- By Anthony Buccino
from SIXTEEN INCHES ON CENTER
Copyright © 2010 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.