Dad is funny, in a depressed sort of way

Running his fingers over his bald head
As if there was hair
Tossing his head back as if there was hair
Hair today, gone tomorrow, he would say

Riding on his shoulders at the Bronx Zoo
Hugging his dome close to my heart
Feeling his warmth
Hair today, gone tomorrow

My fifth birthday party, dad makes a standing microphone
Everyone sings into it
A lightly starched collar, silky tie
Face and teeth scrubbed clean
Smelling sweet
I press my cheek to his

Running behind me on my first two wheeler ride
He barely touching the seat
We fly around the bike path to circle to playground
He lets go and I am free

At my wedding, dad, perfectly groomed
Trembling, walks me down the aisle
His blue eyes watery
As he gives me away
Hair today, gone tomorrow

Cancer
Dad is very quiet
At home his shallow breathing watches the game
On a morphine high

Dad wants a dinner alone with me in a restaurant
We sit across from each other with wistful smiles
“I never loved your mother,” he says
Frozen, I pause and wait, pause and wait
“But you got to have me,” I say
Hair today, gone tomorrow

The taxi is called
Dad insists on going alone to the hospital
He turns and waves to us
He never comes home
Hair today, gone tomorrow

Pollack lives in Lawrenceville with her husband, Bob. She has two grown children and six grandchildren who all live in California. Marion is a therapist at Aroga Behavioral Health and a member of the Lawrenceville Writers Group. She enjoys writing memoir, poetry, and fiction.

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