What My Father Thought

What My Father Thought
Jerry Judge

After a long day as a tool grinder for Ford,
my father would park for the evening
at the kitchen table with a bowl of peanuts,
the daily paper and Hudepohl in a jug

that had been topped off at Twin Mills Tavern
where they knew him and his favorite brew.
His brown Zenith transistor radio played
the news or a Cincinnati Redlegs game.

When my father and I talked, it was about sports.
Not allowed on the table was why I never saw
his parents and twelve siblings, except Aunt Mary.
He drove back to Pittston once – his father’s funeral.

I found out my father was Catholic
only after I made a vulgar joke about the Pope.
His eyes warned with a white flame.
Mother was Methodist; we did not talk religion.

I did learn later he had dreamed of becoming a doctor,
danced a mean jitterbug, and swayed my mother to elope.
He’s buried now with his many secrets.
When my father and I talked, it was about sports.

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