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
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.”