Happy Father’s Day

There came only one to my side

Just one.

Fifty years of human interaction to trade for one pair of warm hands clasping mine.

The sheets were scratchy, the best penitentiary time could buy


“She can’t come”

The warm hand gently squeezes mine

She can’t…or she won’t

I couldn’t come to her play rehearsals

And she won’t come to me during my final act


There is no standing ovation

The seats are empty, popcorn crushed on the dirty floor

I should’ve bought her a ticket


Shallow breaths, reflective of my shallow attempts as a father

Shallow care, as shallow as the fight to not chase the dragon

Shallow living, mirrored full as her life would be without me.