growing up


expect the tunes of Elvis
to pour in through the hallway
where the door doesn't reach the carpet

one year he delivered the Sunday Chronicle
and would take one of his 7 children
a quick stop for Now and Laters and grape soda

an expert with the gas pump
stopping on the exact dollar amount
since back then you didn't prepay

expect him standing over the pan
shaking the pepper can directly on the chops
and singing Brown-eyed Girl

while we played the Nintendo he brought us
and Super Mario Bros 3
getting all the coins in World 1 Stage 4

one year he worked at the auto parts store
to every customer he would declare his name
loud, proud, you'd never forget it

expect him to get the shot
bounce here, and here, into that pocket
when he strikes the cue ball with determination