Therapy, Part 1

Don’t let me say Dad was a drunk
Primarily he was a bright man
Math, science and history
He’d have learned engineering as a kid

Before I interrupted life he triumphed
On bike and mat, lived hard and fast
Put the wild away for me said a friend
“Your dad knew more than anyone,” another

We saved a bird together, with Grandpa
Built a birdhouse
Then I shot one on my birthday with my new gun
For no reason
 cried and he dealt with the remains

Went places in his 442 Cutlass
Donuts at the car wash
Close friends when he showed for weekends
Mom reminded me I’d wait with suitcase

There was the big Lincoln
Shaking at Sauble’s shore as the storm ripped through
My training for manhood
Velvet seats in blue
“Relax, you’ll survive”

Until I was taken away to Calgary at six
Having let myself be manipulated
Defences down, up away on the jet
Never forgave the sin

Years later east of Toronto that terrible question
“What did your mom say about why we divorced?”
Oh shit, my nine year old mind thought
Pointing at his glass of white rum brought a longer intermission
For truth telling