shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

David Spicer


The Night You Died

On the phone, my mother's voice whined, Your father
just passed
. I didn't cry, didn't die inside the way
a son does after his father beats him in a life
of fists and belts, nicknames and putdowns.
After we fought a word-battle between two fools
full of the history of bile separating us, I didn't regret
that I walked away without looking back, I didn't look
at that picture of you holding me in Deadwood.

Instead, in the doctor's office I cradled Eleanor,
the tortoise-shell cat I had loved so many years,
cancer in her liver. With the slits of her golden eyes
she gazed up at my eyes as if begging me to bid
goodbye, and I did, kissing her small black nose
wet with the tears I couldn't shed for you.