Dad does not toss around with his two sons.
Matt and Sam throw the football at tan siding.
Dad never put money into an account
for his sons’ college education.
They’ll get by on their own, like he did.
Dad works at a foundry. 12 hours a day, 12 days on a
concrete slab, in a iron dust assembly line
Dad grinds 100 pound parts and is paid for piece work.
He has the rooted body of a windswept pine.
Matt, the eldest, is 11, and a fierce disciplinarian.
He’s afraid at the beach when the water hits
his knees, and makes Sam go in first.
Sam throws seaweed. Matt bunches in his face.
Dad sleeps in the warm sun at the kitchen table,
his black snot, damp and moving.
Dad is a gamer. A clean face father,
brown hair with slices of grey, tv eyes,
car radio, a flannel shirt cover,
blood calloused hands. Not a good cooker.
Sam is six and buds hunger. Matt will make cheese sandwiches.
The boys are violently happy. No one tells them its bed time.
No one sings about disgusting lovers and petal adventures.
And even if they weren’t, what could they do?
They can’t go to mother, say, ‘where are you’
She’s dead. And dad, dad’s too tired to wake-up.
Their battle cry is something else.