my father is learning golf because that’s what his
father did when he retired. the last time he rode
his bicycle, he fell and shattered his ankle,
and now, he’s learning golf because he’s too afraid
of death. I never did grow to be as tall as
he did, or even as tall as my mother, so
he’s never really gotten any smaller with time
or perspective. I practice what I’ll say
at his funeral, some day too close to today.
I practice what I’ll tell my children about him.
he hunkers down over the tiny golf tee, broad
shoulders squaring for the swing, I still remember
how smart he used to make my sister and I feel
so strong when he let us beat him at wrestling, or
racing down the street to the park. We must have felt
like puppies or kittens crawling around on his
back. He was so patient with us. I can’t be here.