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to Dad, Uncle K, Fred and a few others


My father

flips flapjacks

from a gas grill,


while a few

of his friends


pass a joint

and bullshit stories

from the seventies.


I’m sitting

by the remains

of last night’s fire,


listening to

smoldering mesquite

crawl deeper into dirt


its sizzle

like the grill


as it spits

and pops batter back

from dad’s fingers.


Every so often

I rummage

through ruins

of charred bark


to rediscover

a blue flame

riffing like a flag.

I hover my hand

above it,



as a blister

forms to an island

in the center of a scar.


Dad dances plates

of eggs and flapjacks

to the table,


rocking hillbilly hips

to Clapton’s contagious solo.


He says: Come sit son,

here, by me, my beautiful boy,


moving a wrinkled

stack of Playboys 

and a few bottles of Beam.


I rise to my feet

like white trash royalty,

demand they serve me my meal.

(Published in The Greensboro Review)