Pool With Dad
By Nancy A. Henry

When my dead father comes
the infinite possibilities
of the dreamworld
always are set before us.
Always this insane joy
to find one another again
and what will we do?
We go play pool. A pilgrimage
from one dark clanny bar
to the next settling comfortably
on those red vinyl stools
elbows up on the polished wood
tankards of beer before us each
hungrily watching the other’s face.
You set up your shot,
wearing that old Nehru jacket,
jolly as ever. Heaven has not
painted over those old dents and dings,
the graying of everything,
your delight in a good glass of beer
the “chock” sound of the pool cue
the satisfying click as the balls
find easily their swift tubes
back to the land of death, the underworld
beneath the green felt. Driving away,
it is just us in the dream truck
the old maroon Ford with the bad springs
that cigar and hound-dog smell
the twenty years of your goneness
have not dispersed.

First appeared in Barbaric Yawp


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