Our Fathers

One of our fathers, as a boy, went to school 
without shoes.  One of our fathers did not 
like school at all. He bit the arm or ear 
of whoever was taking him to school 
then ran away to hide in the fields.
One of our fathers lived in that other
part of town. One of our fathers lived
in a house circled day and night by horse-
drawn carriages. During the war, one
of our fathers was sent to look for frogs
and snails in shallow ditches; and one
of our fathers walked for days with other
men to a garrison where they would be
kept as prisoners of war.  One of our
fathers had nothing much to lose 
but was unsure of what he might 
gain. One of our fathers gave up
driving when he almost ran over
a woman on the street. One
of our fathers had only a sweet
yellow fruit to offer as a gift 
to the woman he'd wind up marrying.
One of our fathers felt he was almost 
past his prime. One of our fathers nearly
drank himself into oblivion each night
if not for the thing that he said finally
saved him.  One of our fathers 
liked late night shows and barber-
shop shaves. One of our fathers
who liked to refinish his own furniture
and floors also liked telenovelas. One 
of our fathers lies in the ground 
on a hillside that used to be 
latticed with trees. One of our 
fathers has a plaque over the urn 
that held his ashes; surrounding that,
the clipped and carefully tended grass.

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