There was the day you fell off the wagon
I was nine, and you drove us to the lake
to meet your wife, my mother and sisters
It was you and I, alone
and you set the six pack between us
and when we arrived,everything went wrong
The boat did not have a pump,
the duckweed skinned the water,
grey sand, and bright sun
There is a photo of me,
a piratical handkerchief, binoculars
a boatless captain. There are none of you.
Your son, jumping on the couch,
stabbing the wall with a knife 'like daddy"
Your wife who haunts the edges of photos
How we cleaned your house, found your works
a zippered case of syringes, pipes and bellows
an aquarium of neon fish.
set your wife's impractical heels in rows
You, cook and junkie, dry drunk
Your impossible blond children,
your coal black hair, your Zig-Zag tattoo
Your scar, Your bottomless sorrow
that found its end with a final drink
a bullet through the head, politely
in the back yard, so as not to leave a mess.