the old man talks

and I listen…

he talks about classic films
ones he’s seen a thousand times
before; and women he used to know
but no longer does.
and he talks about the ocean
and his boat … their departure
back in 1992

“the goddamn MMPA
put me out of business!”

fishing deep waters like Santiago
(the fisherman who never gave up
even when the water serpents ate
the fish off the side of the boat)
is just out of the question.

but I listen to the old man
because he loves that story
and the story loves him
… ever since 1958
when the old man was only 12

and sixty years later I listen
as he talks about John Wayne
“good ol’ Duke”
and his VHS cassettes tapes
and I try to tell him that: 

“I know the daughter of Harry Carey Jr.
and I have his kerchief
and I wear it all the time!”

but he can’t hear me
this is his moment
so he talks about the Duke
and I try to remind him that:

“I could clone old Dobe you fool!!
I know his daughter, Melinda!
and I’ve seen actual scripts written by
Paul Fix!
You know the guy on that
Twilight Zone episode!?
when the sun won’t come out!?!
Fix!! Fix!!”

he finally speaks to me: 
Fix? the first time we met you asked
‘you wouldn’t happen to be a diabetic?'”

(I’d guess I’d left my tools in the gutter
she was gone, so I wanted to go for a swim)

but this could be one of his Final Moments
so he doesn’t want to hear my voice
it doesn’t exist so he talks about
Rooster Cogburn
Abbott and Costello

and those same old films he’s seen a thousand
times before.

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