Regular Poem: The Old Man

11 Apr

I’ve been thinking lately
of the Old Man.

Not the one who plays nick-nack-paddywhack.
Not Admiral Adama.
Not Old Man Winter.
Not even my dad.

The one who was
with Christ
but who still hangs around sometimes
like some zombie hobo
looking for a couple dollars for cigarettes and booze
trying to lure me into traps and pitfalls and sin in general.

He clings to his Old Man ways
sleeping in his clothes and hurling obscenities in all directions
constantly drunk and disorderly.

All I can do when I look at him
is shake my head.
So sad.

He doesn’t even know how bad he’s got it.

So it’s weird
when he convinces me to do

Like I should know better.
I look at him and know I’m better
But he’s still got some kind of
of persuasion
shaky and shameful
and just plain

And I wonder what it would take
to crucify him

Like could I watch?

Would that help?

No, that’s the Old Man again
bent on violence and revenge and blood and guts.
That’s the masochist
in the Old Man,
He might giggle about
his punishment:

“Yeah, girly, hit me harder.
You know you want to,”
he says in his grizzled
Old Man

Damn it, Old Man.
Shut up, already.
I’m tired of your stammering, drunken rants
against God and

How can I walk in the newness of life
with you all up in my grill
all the time?

How can I be salt and light and all that
with your whiskey breath
breathing down my neck?

Paul says put him off,
like he’s a coat you can hang on a rack.
I just want to put some diesel fuel on the rack and light a match.

Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace…
I don’t think “Firestarter” is a name of Christ.

Maybe we could file this under
Eternal Judge of the Quick and the Dead.

And I’ll put on my whole armor of God,
and put my fingers in my ears when the
Old Man tries to wolf whistle
at me in the park.


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