Hour 10

Father’s Day Hike


We drink coffee out of a styrofoam cup

and water from a canteen. You gave up

Irish whiskey and scotch and now

gripe about it constantly.

But we both know better.


Hush. There is a doe at the trailhead

one hoof held high, eyeing us nervously

the same colors as the trees in the fog. You say

she reminds you of my mother.

And that is as close to romantic as you get,

when you snap a picture to show her later.


We hike through the firs to the dock,

and strip down to our swimsuits. It’s not warm,

but it also isn’t crowded, and as you like to remind me

the lake-bottom feels better on what’s left of your toes

than concrete.


I watch you swim, like I did when I was ten

and you, buoyed by the water

smile like a child. And then say

damn, it’s cold” with blue lips and we light a fire.

Dinner is hotdogs and trail mix.


And we head back to the car

and I put you back in the ground

and I say “sleep well, old man,

because someday we will meet again.”


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