You know me and Jesus, we're of the same heart
Like most Father's Days, you wouldn't know it. The kids are in the pool at one moment, running Chinese fire drills around the ping-pong table the next, then battering the gates of their lips with barbarian strawberries, then in the shade, glassy-eyed blue herons digesting the proceeds of low tide.
In the trees around this house, the men are talking program, the women who know each other are chatting. The remainder are few and dutiful. A fact among these men that surprises me, each time I hear it, is that they keep two anniversaries. One for the day they were born, one for the day they got on the wagon and stayed. If they have a third anniversary to honor, they do not mention it here. Some of their faces bear a semblance of some long-ago trench warfare, a survivor's grim humility, a bright leathern smile, a joyous embrace of one's inner asshole. Just the same, these men knew how to take camaraderie, in the forms made available to them, and in that ripe time.
I read Genesis from my grandparent's living room Bible, again and again, because matters were straight. In the beginning, God made the heavens and the Earth. God makes you and I in the image of that making power. The end of creation is not physical death, but exile: out, out of the garden, gone to Enoch, landfall in the place of All-Demons. To help impart this lesson, she smoked, watched the meadow from the couch at each meal. For his part, he ate with an uncompromised relish, and also said nothing.
It is time, Sunday night, for everyone to go home. Where I go, there is a worker's lights-out in effect, but for the local mockingbird. I keep names for him: laundromat poet, little Demosthenes. Seduced by the industry of his own effort, he attracts an occasional dark phrase, a hasty pellet, not much else.
The clock runs ahead, into the next day. I want to beat the computer at hearts, get the printer to spit a test page, play one song on my new speakers. I can't see it through, not before I am pushed out through the next gate, and on to a new business on a new and uncertain plain.