I’ve got a poem up at Bywords. It’s about being a role model, for better or worse, and I hope I learn something from it.
Of course you may go out but you must know
when I alone lay down our son, full of formula and promise
I instinctively envision single-parenthood while I sing him
“Wish You Were Here” for the hundredth night.
When I was seventeen I envisioned that anthem
sound-tracking my painless, accidental death
featuring my cuckolding crush weeping over my body,
as Pink Floyd synced the monitor, and up the camera went.
I am thirty-one and you are thirty-one. In the nursery,
our son maws gibberish in the dark. The female cat
who you correctly identify as my cat, whinges.
Oh wife, come home to me, and spoon my nervous hinges.
Downstairs, to my son, my partner sings
This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody),
halting where the instruments will fill
finding the words in her hand.
I put on a pair of clean white briefs
three o’clock on my mind.
Last night I bowled alone.
Going home, spoke to the driver
about moving around Ottawa
again and again and again
and again and again. He has a child
and a child and a child and a child.
Today, someone’s going to say
the drivers deserve poverty.
Yesterday the bachelor
went too long for my tolerance.
The gun games, the liquor tasting,
the big steak I forked for myself.
Ready for the brewery tour
the one guy without a desk job
clapped his hands & said,
“Let’s go see people work.”
Looking presentable, I left the Best Western
struggling to close my wallet, the neon sign
reminding, “If you’re here, you’re home.”
the theory goes
things go to shit
when people good at this
are promoted to shit they can’t
the system glitches
and I wonder if this principle
applies to second children
Doctor I was mistaken
my son is looking for a hidden toy.
His head dug in a bin while I clear the room,
he has no interest in tumbling from the chesterfield.
There was no question whether he claps and though
he’s yet to stack he does (this is new!) tenderly
put things aside. Doctor,
does this matter?
I must end here—
he has the xylophone’s baton
and may choke and die any moment.