My Old Man

by Shane Allison

My old man was a strict old man.
My old man kept a tight leech on my sister.
My old man said, “she’s not coming in this house at
          all hours of the night as long as she’s living here.”
My old man made my sister cry when he beat her with a “switch.”
My old man cheated on my mama while I was in her belly.
My old man was a high school quarterback.
My old man took me to get a haircut at Lee’s Barbershop.
My old man wanted me to be just like him.
My old man is a liar and cheat.
My old man is a dirty old man.
My old man will only eat vanilla ice cream.
My old man prefers small towns to big cities.
My old man knows a lot about fixing and building things.
My old man leaves dirty socks and underwear on the floor.
My old man went to jail.
My old man crawled on his hands and knees on the
           living room floor when sheriffs shined their
           flashlights in the sliding glass door.
My old man in handcuffs at four in the morning.
My old man pinned to the floor half-naked
           at four in the morning by U.S. Marshals.
My old man faked a heart attack in jail.
My old man cried when his mama died.
My old man served in Vietnam and got a hunting knife
           for his tour of duty.
My old man drives a beat up old dodge.
My old man has arthritis in his knees.
My old man tried to beat my mama, but she wasn’t having that.
My old man called me a sissy.
My old man taught me how to drive when I was fourteen.
My old man had a VW and named it “Blue Magic.”
My old man stole packages of steak, chicken,
           and ground beef out of Winn Dixie.
My old man’s brother eats raccoons and squirrels.
My old man eats hog head cheese, souse and pickled pig feet.
My old man has old friends who want to know
           when I’m going to go out for football.
My old man has bad breath.
My old man has dirt under his fingernails.
My old man fell out of a tree and broke his shoulder.
My old man puts too much milk in his cereal.
My old man only eats corn flakes.
My old man is old-fashioned.
My old man has a nappy beard.
My old man is an embarrassment.
My old man wears my shirts and shoes.
My old man yells and curses
           when his favorite basketball team is losing.
My old man suffers from hay fever.
My old man jacks off tight beneath the flower-printed comforter.
My old man takes a long crap.
My old man stinks up the bathroom.
My old man knows I’m gay, but we don’t talk about it.
My old man violated his probation.
My old man served eight months in jail.
My old man likes hot sauce on everything.
My old man leaves dirt in the bathtub.
My old man’s best friend suffered and died
           from a heart attack while cutting his yard.
My old man’s white tank tops.
My old man is ‘pussy-whipped.’
My old man’s old jockstrap from high school.
My old man leaves pee on the toilet.
My old man shakes my hand instead of hugging me
           at my college graduation.
My old man likes coconut cake.
My old man’s middle name is Edward.
My old doesn’t know who I am.
My old man is a FAMU Rattler.
My old man watches me swishing down the hall.
My old man is like a lot of old men.
I love my old man.
I hate my old man.

Shane Allison is the author of four chapbooks of poetry. His fifth book, I Want to Fuck a Redneck is fortcoming from Scintillating Publications. He is friends with poet, Jarret Keene.