Paul Vargas

From Your Father, If He’s In His Sixties And You’re In Your Thirties

Some woman in a cape came by.
Liked the place. Your mother gave her
a box of crackers, so she left. Now
we have to buy more crackers.

Your mother is fine. She was the
first not to flinch when I sang at her,
so she’s fine in that way, too.
She says hello. Now you say it.

The birds are singing in the back.
The finches make a racket, yes. Yes, I will
hang a feeder. Don’t distract me.
Tell me who that woman was.

The cape was a blue-and-orange tweed.
Had no idea they made that. I guess they
make everything these days. I don’t know
what she wanted. Maybe you. Or just a snack.

I wish you were here, but it’s fine.
I always think people are looking for you.
Kept your name on the mailbox, just in case.

That song I sang had whistles for days.
Don’t call me a bird. I’m too big
to be a bird. Too big in the face.

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