The Last Father Poem

By William Varner

Featured art: Design for a Heart-shaped Box by Noritake Factory

Only the spittle
of AM radio in your car
those few times we met,
a swinging air freshener,
cigarettes little twisted
arms in the ashtray.
The waitress in the diner
brought coffee
and checked on us
too many times,
her apron the color
of the dried mustard
near the cap.
And I’ve forgotten
where the cemetery is,
on which street I looked away
as Amish buggies slowed,
and the men took off their black hats,
held them to their chests,
and gave a short, sharp nod.

William Varner’s poems have appeared in American Journal of Poetry, Boston Review, The Cincinnati Review, Cimarron Review, Green Mountains Review, Smartish Pace, and elsewhere. He lives in South Berwick, Maine, and works as an editor in Portland.

Originally published in NOR 22.

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