Father’s Day Requiem

We never had one of
those TV sitcom
wisdom, serious sit-downs
that I can recall

I have no fatherly counsel
wisdom to share
rarely proclaiming,
“As my daddy used to say…”

Sans great punchline

parts of my father
I carry with me, mirth more
tangible than profundity
less open to interpretation
than mere platitudes

a life lived differently,
enjoyed fully

real examples used regularly:
treat people well
don’t sweat the small stuff
experience new things
appreciate old one
learn from whoever you can
because you
always can and you should

we never
discussed those things

what I learned most
from my dad was by osmosis
glacial, inexorable
noticeable only in retrospect
soaking up a life
generously poured, oftentimes
inadvertently spilled

hit me again, bartender.

conflicted by faith, he
simply lived faithfully
Golden Rule doing-unto-others
sort of living

real gold doesn’t tarnish

I could say I never took a lesson
though that would be wrong
I unknowingly Jedi-mastered
mystical arts of wry observation
sardonic commentary, satirical jabs
serious points cloaked in
functional parables

uproariously serious,jester1-2
seriously funny

Like my father

I can never resist or not
appreciate a
humorous turn of phrase,
slapstick comedy,
ribald satire, bad pun

I learned from my dad
have confirmed by living: life
is a fine definition of irony

cursed I am, by
the grins of the father

  – Mark L. Lucker
© 2018

Afternoon at Lakewood

IMG_20160608_180407Whatever remains lie beneath

six, eight, feet; compacted dirt
atop concrete lid, polished walnut box
thirty years I have come to this spot
far longer to this place
to the eye, comfortably little is changed
thirty years say everything has

yes and no

he would be one-hundred now
hard to imagine him at a full century
gone nearly a third of that
what I have needed since, I found
elsewhere, in old lessons retooled
for different times, I am a different son

This is my default settingMe age 4

there is nothing left here
nobody who can help me with this one
today is not fixing a broken toy
drying a child’s tears
calming a bad dream
grabbing a ball and two gloves

things he really didn’t do much anyway

never playing to the archetypes
to his everlasting credit and my heredity;
some nature, some nurture
something else altogether unique
sometimes I wonder if I would
engender more pride than eye rolls

I cannot hint for compliments
I can only sit, contemplate

sometimes I ask questionsIMG_20160608_181941
every now and then I swear I hear
answers in a crisp, familiar timbre
tinged with the irony of knowing answers
before asking but needing to be sure
I come, sit in the grass, bask in the
adoring glow of ancient, swaying, elms
casting no less a shadow than
those wafting up through hard dirt

I can only sit, ruminate
a wineless communion

The bronze plaque at my feet
perpendicular to the rows of weathered
marble and granite stretching out in
neat rows to not-so-distant horizon

squinting into late afternoon sun
dad’s marker a welcome mat beforeIMG_20160608_181854
two rows of sunken, off-kilter markers
of familial consequence, inspiration
roots of a family tree
some limbs I knew, loved in life
other branches only by quirky legacy

my DNA fertilizes this lush ground
rich dust-to-dust opportunities
for second opinions abound

there is cool contentment here
maudlin sentimentality not a game we play
I have come here with purpose, pride
as always soaking up what I can
gleaning what I need to
address whatever challenge I have

or sometimes, just to kill a little time in
idle, silent conversation with my dad

– Mark L. Lucker
© 2016