Such hopes that were had by my dad
Are not the type I want to have,
Nor wish my sons to have, nor theirs
On down as far as luck and streetsmarts
Gets us. Try as I always do to find
Something lacking in him (believe me,
There's so much missing) I can detect
Nothing untoward, inexplicable, no whim
Of history to distort the nature of his correct.
Over the years I've learned that I should trust
Rejecting and then affirming my father's gifts:
Shrugging my shoulders in a far-flung place,
Which for another might rather turn murderous
And set the whole family permanently adrift.
I'm his firstborn. I might be a total disgrace.