Big Dean’s Sports Bar, Sunday Afternoon

I meet up with my friend from
the grief group, who
recently lost a six-week-old
baby boy.

Everything just sucks, she says,
taking a chug of hard cider.
I nod, appreciating her candor.

No eloquence needed here
amongst spilled Stella Artois,
empty baskets of chili fries,
and two dead sons
between us.

After lunch, we spill out
onto the crowded boardwalk
with our two living children.
My younger son tries to teach her
three-year-old daughter
how to throw a football.

Passers-by smile, say, How sweet!

For a moment, I see us
as I imagine they do,
two moms enjoying a Sunday
with their children, vibrant,


instead of like the doorman
at Big Dean’s with his missing left leg.

I used to be an athlete,
he says to me as he throws
my son a Hail Mary.

All I can see is
his empty jean leg, dangling
like a body
after the soul is gone.

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