September 14, 2020

The Cut Of His Jib

I always liked the cut of his jib 
his beard gave him kind of a rogue look
he told great stories- had a magnificent laugh
had a taste for the classics; and the eccentric 
chomping on his big ole cigar...larger than life he was
sparkle in his eyes
always ready with a quip
I kinda wished he was my father
there wasn’t anything wrong with my father of course 
he was very suburban and dependable 
but this man had a certain savoir faire
I knew his son vaguely in school
he somehow knew who I was
when our paths crossed out of the blue much later in a chicago bar
in the marriott on the magnificent mile
which isn’t so magnificent these days
but that’s another poem
one late summer evening- I was in town for a funeral 
he was drinking wine, scotch for me
told him I always admired his father 
he smiled and said his dad was best admired from a distance 
he wasn’t the great guy as some thought 
too many nights out playing poker
weekends golfing with the guys
late nights at the office
not a one-woman man, his mother silently knew that
part-time father only when it was convenient 
wasn’t exactly a family first kind of guy
he said he always liked my father 
we had a couple more drinks and it was time to go
illusions crumbled 

I walked away wishing I hadn’t talked to his son

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