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Poetry #524
(published February 3, 2011)
The Old Man's Last Stand
by R.J. Bullock
We should thank you, Dad, for the empty pockets you left us,
for in them we learned to hold the bag till our fingers went blue,
then white, like men must do.

After Muggins, we buried our lost dogs out back
between the swing set and the ball court, sternly, no words.
Only he who dug had the right to hide his blisters.

Our boys' boats lashed to your sinking ghost, we tilted
and lunged at the rocks and foam, risked all we had
not to be left out there like painted ducks.

Yet we pulled through and were on our way,
your five braves coming for you, ears back, throats low
just like you showed us.

And then, like that, your last resort slipped
you from the bottom of the deck. They say he cheats
us all, Dad, but I'd say you got off easy.

R.J. Bullock from Cincinnati says: "Well, as Ponce de Leonard L'Cohen said, 'It's Father's Day, and everybody's woooo-oundead.' Dad was a doctor and his last resort referred to herein was the Reaper—but the wife's always accusing me of overstating, histrionics and the like. Anyhow, the old man died in his sleep, or so legend has it. I'll find out soon enough I reckon. Peace out, Mister Squid."

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