Father’s Day

Mornings, like me, enjoyed
up with a cup of coffee,
the first sip a prayer,
an offering, for Patty
and the kids before work,
primed the pump,
but I don’t think he ever
worked on his bio,
and I’m sure he did not
know a pronoun
from a down dulcet.

All day long he stayed
disappeared in the galvanized
wooden shells,
from ground breaking
to the pipes out the roof,
returned with the turning
of the tide and said,
“Get Dad a beer,
will ya Joe,” each
from which I took a sip
until one day I took
too much out of us
and things were never
the same again
but in the mornings
before work,
quiet over a cup of coffee,

maybe I was up early
to go surfing or ride
my bike to school times
my car was broke down
usually a Bug in the shop
at Jim & Jack’s,
two Iranian brothers
down on the corner of Grand
and Sepulveda,
but that’s another story.

Dad was no good with cars,
couldn’t hear the engines,
always “feels like it ain’t
gettin’ no gas,” he’d say.
That’s one way it was just
outside LA city in the industrial
beach town on the edge between
the cool water and the heat
some mornings sunup
with a cup of coffee
and few words, maybe
enough for a haiku:

damp carob odor
as three trees drop chocolate
pods crushed on the walk.