They Called Him Buck

My dad, telling the perfect joke
A favorite bartender
He would be amused
So many colored liquors
Lining the back shelf now
His drinks amber, gold and clear
Creme de Menthe and
Sloe Gin the exceptions

My dad, his arm bent like
A wing holding his cigarette
Out the window, steering
With the other, loving his
Buick, Chrysler or Olds
Sales cases not car seats
Keeping him company
Always deep in concentration

My dad, watching television
John Wayne, Creature Feature
Maybe golf, football or fishing
Always calm then, unless
The Packers lost the football
Then he yelled from a dark place
Me quietly leaving, startling
Him to embarrassment

My dad, cooking meals
Perfect steak and burgers
Spaghetti sauce, marinades we
Couldn’t really appreciate then
French toast on lenten Fridays
The never ending crispy soft slices
Butter and syrup sliding in perfect union
With glasses of so cold milk

My dad, trimming the hedge
Arms persistently tanned
Extended outward for hours
In work appearing effortless
Swaying back and forth
Slashing into shape
The perimeter of
His domestic jungle

My dad, temper flaring
Against only himself
Evidence now he lived
In a prison of fear over
Standards of perfection
That couldn’t be met
Left to wonder of the origin
Answers long buried with him

My dad, in remembering
The great and beautiful
Ingredients of him, a recipe
He was given, then gave
My memory’s mixture
Grateful for the good
Now, as a parent, contending
In empathy with the flaws

4 thoughts on “They Called Him Buck

  1. Love it and him! I picture him grilling in mom and dad’s background with his apron on at our rehersal dinner. Your writings reminded me of other pictures to remember. You old crow…


  2. Did he really watch Creature Feature! Funny. Very much like this one too, and I think I would even if I hadn’t known him at all.


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