by Kimberly Gladman Jackson

I felt my father’s death in aisle six
His favorite ice cream stared me in the eye
He’s gone, the freezer whispered, you can’t fix
The pain between you. It’s too late to try
He isn’t eating thickly buttered toast
Or watching Mets play baseball on TV
Not reading headlines in the New York Post
Not cursed or blessed by any thoughts of me.
His socks and gloves and belt are empty, left
His hammer’s still, his nails, his roofing truck
And I, his child, estranged, heartsore, bereft
Remember him and wonder how the fuck
It’s possible that he does not exist:
This man so deeply feared, and loved, and missed.

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