I hope I don’t die
before I clean out
the basement

There’s bound to be
embarrassments down there
for my children

Obviously nothing would
bother me once
I was dead

That said I don’t know
why I’d care about
being found out

human by my kids
We all know we are
capable of Shakespearean

faults and vain lusts
blindly murderous impulses
petty jealousies and fooleries

Still it’s difficult to let go
of fearful parental roles
patterned after God

that one you thank
out of reflex knowing
you’ll be gone

when they discover
you were just another
love-clumsy bag of air


Reprinted from In the Weeds (Drumlummon Institute, 2021). Copyright © 2021 by Mark Gibbons. Used with permission of the author. All rights reserved.