My father and I

My father is the gentlest man you’ll ever meet
with calloused hands carrying a bouquet
freshly picked from his own garden
or, in drunken cases, the neighbor’s
for which he’ll charmingly apologize
and offer an orchid
and he’s my best friend

by all accounts but his
I was an unlovable child
clumsy, snot nosed, possibly retarded
except my father would never consider
any child unworthy of love
which explains all my foster brothers and sisters
when they came along

and even today when I am considered
a difficult woman, he would never describe me as such
he tells me I am a person, just like my mother was
and tells me the stories of a love before it went wrong
in a way that never feels disparaging
but rather, like I’m being compared to a god

My father and I, when he visits
we like to go thrifting, dumpster diving, flower picking
he follows me in his car
and when I grope for my keys and my face falls
he doesn’t say, You lost your keys? Oh, god!
but only, “It’s ok. Don’t worry about it.”
and then, when I find them, “Well, of course you did.
They were in your pocket all along,”

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2 thoughts on “My father and I

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