Dad's Dead Cry
When her dad died, she became nice.
She cried silent screaming tears.
Not at the grave site but at the chiropractor's office.
Usually only people in movies cry at
Well people do cry at grave sights,
but not the way they do in movies.
They don't wait for that little speech to be over,
they cry without regard for anything,
like little barefoot kids
who have just gotten a teeter totter
in the chin.
When her dad went down,
her back seized up.
She had said to herself,
"I've got to be strong and get through this."
As if her posture would keep her going.
It had, but now nothing moved.
The chiropractor had to use his elbows.
They don't like to do that
but they sort of do.
He cracked away, thought
he'd hurt her.
Snapped her neck.
But that neck by now
could take a bullet.
It was ten fifteen A.M.
four months after the pork and port
had finally gotten dad.
Face down in the cradle.
She had her first of many "dad's dead" cry.
And her boyfriend
he never got in that shape.
You know that shape?
When you're in highschool
or the first couple summers after.
That shape that you never get into.
Women think of it as their "dream weight."
"Really, I'm forty."
Guys think of it differently.
Birthdays don't really matter to guys,
but there is that age where they say to themselves,
"I'm not going to become a pro athlete."
Not that they ever actually think
that they are going to become pro athletes,
but maybe they could
if they shaved their heads
and moved to the woods and trained.
They could be the last guy picked on the team.
He didn't know when it dawned on him.
It only dawned on him that it had dawned on him,
and now he sat Sundays watching sports
looking at guys who were younger than him.
he'd never gotten to that shape.
He'd never loved that love.
That love we all promise outselves that we will live,
where we actually stopped strategizing.
That love where we just...stop.
He only loved them once they were gone.
His girlfriends were all the same age
and to be honest, they were getting younger.
But something was wrong.
He paused too long,
like an athlete stretching.
Before he realized it,
the race was over.
He'd gone into the World's Biggest Bookstore.
He was looking for a book on "time management."
For some reason he found himself
in another aisle
staring at a baby name book,
and he started to cry
in the middle of the store,
in the middle of the morning.
The name of the daughter he would never have,
was in this book.
His son, unborn, in its pages.
He put the book down and muttered to himself
"Keep on truckin'.
He put the book down.
No, he'd never gotten into that shape.