My father posing as a Hell’s Angel
For My Father, Patrick, on St. Patrick’s Day, 2011
Had you not died in 1993
You’d be on this St. Patrick’s day 111.
Whatever gods may be,
Your mother—how she believed in heaven!
But your father, well, not necessarily.
You sat, drinking, on the fence.
You never told me how you felt.
On the seat of your pants,
You waited for the last card to be dealt.
Between Catholicism and alcoholism,
The poor Irish never had a chance.
They see not through a glass, darkly, but through a prism,
A kaleidoscope of fool’s gold and Riverdance.