i knew what the sound of the
refrigerator door meant
rum and coke 
he’d down two glasses before he even
stepped out of his uniform

who wants to come to the store with me?
me, daddy! i want to!
i’d hold the 2 liter with both hands
craddling it like a precious newborn
we’d scavenge for
pretzels and chips and popsicles

pink panther reruns and 
tom and jerry marathons
put the lights on for me, daddy!
blue and red, i still see it with closed eyes

rusted wedding rings and slashes through 
family albums
i’ll always love you

that’s what they all say