How close were you dad (here he peers
down plastic sights of a painted gun)
to the bad guys when you shot at them?
I had to say (I hoped) in a way
that would not forever break his aim,
I had to say (as hidden as the thing had stayed!)
that I never got that close.
But I was available,
I promised my apology,
had someone simply asked me to.
And that much was surely true
but that much was not enough
to burn me into some hell where
the blood of better men dried
and caked and made crispy
little cards of the sand.
That much was not enough –
as apologies never are.
Were you good at shooting dad and
should I close one eye when I aim?
You should aim I said
(he couldn’t know how blindly)
with every eye you can open.
2 thoughts on “Parenthetical Courage”
Oh wow, I love that last line especially!
Thank you! The holy trinity of poetry: Title, first line, last line.
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