The first time I see him after his ten-hour surgery,
we sit in stuffed chairs in their living room
where we’ve sat many times before.
But I’ve never seen him like this before.
Bags now hang from his body.
He looks old. Fragile.
He’s never talked to me like this before:
I guess she told you she hid my guns.
This is a secret.
I can’t believe he brought it up.
I guess that would have been really selfish.
I don’t look at him. I can’t.
He persists, teeth clenched.
I said I guess that would have been really selfish.
Deep breath. Eye contact.
I don’t know about selfish, Dad,
but I know none of us could bear it.
We look out the window.
That’s what I thought.
We watch the geraniums, drooping in the heat.
I wish she’d give me back my BB gun.
I’m not going to off myself with a damn BB gun,
and I need to keep cats away from the quail.
I tell him, I’ll talk to her, Dad.