After your father gets lost for the third time,
you get angry because he won’t answer his phone.
Part of me wants him to stay lost. God, what has stolen my generosity?
He pours a bowl of cereal and milk and leaves the refrigerator door open.
He calls you boss and me mother. Yes, mother, he says and rolls
his eyes when I tell him to eat something, to clean up after himself.
Would I be more patient with a child? Would I love the smallness
of a life more than the gone-ness of the mind? Yes.
I don’t know what to do with him, so I cook elaborately—
pea salad with blanched red onions, radishes and asparagus, scalloped potatoes,
all good things that come from the ground.
He eats the mini eggs I’ve left for guests until they’re gone,
he says, How do you feel about abortion?
I explain how you can eat violets, and dandelions, and wild chives, so that we
almost have an edible lawn. He says he hates birds. I laugh and ask him,
How can you hate birds? He says he hates them because they’re everywhere,
they are all over, everywhere you look, and we look up at the sky together.
Turns out he’s right, those damn things are everywhere.