This was my first
Father’sDay Without my Father. As the son of a workaholic, I don’t know if working on this expired holiday honored him or distanced myself from him. Every dad entering with his kids to buy them something... bittersweet like aspartame, a sugar analog, close enough but not the same. Never the same. Never the same again. I didn’t have my father’sguidance. Instead, I became a man’s Daddy. I multitasked in a physical language. I guided my fingers and escaped; the man was the destination. I laid on a towel & overshot the landing. I coped in the most responsibly irresponsible fashion. I wore a mask until I didn’t. I didn’t have my father’schoice. Instead, I coparented pubic lice. I bought shampoo to kill the family, to fingernail-separate the ties that bind. I didn’t have my father’s peace. Instead, a cheap inheritance. My father gave my mom everything, but I gained all the sleep my dad lost. I didn’t have my father’sclosure Instead depression Instead revisitation Instead nostalgia in a glass house Instead dad mines turning thoughts to trauma craters Instead love in a cul-de-sac Love in a leaking bottle AbrokentreadmillAscreechingstationarybike I didn’t have my father’s patience. Instead, last straws & store closes. A wisp of smoke A breath of release I made it through, Just by a hair.
Ryan McMasters is an internationally published poet out of Houston, Texas. He has work published in The City of Houston’s website, Write About Now’s Youtube channel, Ireland’s HCE Review, Peculiar Journal, Shiela-Na-Gig journal, Moon Tide Press, Allegory Ridge, the San Antonio Review, Show Bear Family Circus, and Flowersong Press.