Piker Press Banner
November 27, 2023
"Mes de los Muertos"

June 11th

By Tony Gloeggler

June 11th

It's Sunday, a family barbecue
ending with my niece holding
her Rapunzel doll and leaning
over, helping me blow out
the candles on the Carvel cake
celebrating my birthday.
I ask for the biggest piece,
eat around the crunchy
middle part that gets bigger
every year and save the vanilla
ice cream for last. My mom
brings up my father, the year
he didn't give me a gift
when I wouldn't cut
my hair and he found out
she slipped me fifty dollars
for Beach Boys tickets,
how he didn't speak
to either one of us
until the month ended.
I remember she treated
him nicer while I pretended
not to care. Now, nearly
the same age as my father
when he died, I appreciate
how much he's missed.
He never met Helen
or my step son, never
had the chance to wonder
what went wrong or blame
me when they moved back
to Vermont. He missed
my brother's marriage,
his suburban success.
He never got to see
my brother's daughter
or her baby brother
who's sitting in a high chair
across from me. Daniel
keeps dropping his spoon
and he doesn't stop
crying until he gets it back.
I can almost see my father
picking it up, taking it
to the sink and saying
"enough of this crap,"
or maybe, softer now,
he'll make a loud, silly
sound and fit the spoon
into his grandson's
pudgy excited fingers.

First published in 2 Bridges Review

Article © Tony Gloeggler. All rights reserved.
Published on 2019-11-11
Image(s) are public domain.
1 Reader Comments
Lisa Segal
08:35:18 PM
I LOVE Tony Gloeggler's poems.
Your Comments

The Piker Press moderates all comments.
Click here for the commenting policy.