Terrence Dunn
8 AND 73

A quiet evening at work
The phone rings twice
First my son, then my father
My son wants to talk about our trip to Florida
But not about his math test
He only got a 95
A 95's fine, I say
But it's not perfect, he says
Don't we try to be perfect?
My father wants to talk about our trip to Florida
But not about his open-heart surgery
The chances are only 80-20, he says
I say, 80's pretty good, isn't it?
But it's not 100, he says
I want them to tell me I am going to live
I tell them both what they need to hear
So I can get back to work
I am a busy man
But then I am left behind with the numbers and the regret
The eight year old and the seventy-three year old will be gone soon enough
A boy grows into a man
A father grows into a shadow
And I watch them go
A foolish man suddenly crying at his desk
With nothing to do but say goodbye.




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