Bringing Something
by Maranda Stewart

I was in the church
waiting to see my dead
father who had recently
shot himself,
probably in his trailer
listening to the clinks
of ice in his Jack and Coke
blaming the clinking
or blaming his
who he never sees
if seeing is what
you’d call his being
in front of us staring
through bloodshot half closed
teetering right into
our right earlobes mumbling
the same sentences
over and over.
And I probably
got more out of his
stillness than
I’ve ever gotten out
of him before.
I wondered if I should
have brought him something
to put in his coffin.
Maybe a rose, or note,
or lie,
but decided that it
would’ve been more than
he’s ever given me.
So I stand at the side
of him empty handed
and realize what it’s like
to come with nothing
and leave with even less.

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