nolo contendere

some Sunday mornings early at the park the ducks would waddle toward him with shaky hung over arms he’d lift me above the quacking wonders the giggles floating up like bubbles some summer times long ago i’d get to stay at his home motorcycle parts in the bathroom and nightly a different ‘aunt’ to make me food some days after his brothers would roar out of his garage in the afternoon i’d make a dollar for every bottle i scavenged from his oily shop floor and i finally had enough to buy chutes and ladders there were certain times i didn’t trust him his glances were an empty page don’t act like your mother he’d say when i offered to do a chore just to strike up a conversation like Sammy and Ginger my neighbors next door did with their Da when it was their turn to water the lawn i guess he thought i wanted another board game as i grew older and farther away i saw no use of trying my hand at rewinding time with the old man being a Da wasn’t his suit and being parented is something i’ve always sucked at

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