“Wait Till Your Father Gets Home” by John Buckley

10 March 2017 on Poetry   Tags: ,

He’s not dead
anymore; he sent Michael Landon walking
and Della Reese down, Neo to be wracked
for our sins. So says the post-
Nietzschean hot-dog vendor, inter-
rupting his inquiries into the advent
of the dirty-water Überwurst.

Look at the fractals in altruists’ hearts,
the echoing economy of grace
a Mandelbrot set emanating compassion.
Consider the eddies of Brownian motion
from incense dispensers. Fancy
the plotlines of lives, filigreed Frisbees,
arcing past firmaments millennia long.
Daddy did this and that, that and this,
infinite craftsmanship, carving each pip
as the dice spin for all of us.

True, he stepped out for cigarettes.
True, he missed each school play
and successive recitals. True, he gave Eve the bug:
serpent’s tooth code for a cuspate sarcoma.

But one day, he’s going to return
to throw us the best birthday party.
Balloons for acres. Cake pyrotechnics.
The world’s greatest electrocumulus
bounce-castle ball-pit. You’re going
to cry if you ate the last cookie. You’re
going to cry if you stepped on a crack.

These are the days when
we kneel on the couches and
watch the front door.


After twenty years in and around California, John F. Buckley once again lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife. His publications include various poems, two chapbooks, the collection Sky Sandwiches, and with Martin Ott, Poets’ Guide to America and Yankee Broadcast Network. Visit his website to learn more.

Artwork: Love, Laugh and Please Dream Lots, Scott Ackerman


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