The Future from my Son’s Perspective

Every night my father
would sit down
with a crime novel
and a gin and tonic.
He told me once
this tradition starter
the year after I was born.
When my father spoke
of 2020
he did so with a far-away
look in his eye of someone
recalling past trauma.
All he ever said of it was
it was a difficult time
made worse because
people showed you who they were.
His eyes would focus.
He stared deep into mine
and said, “When someone
tells you who they are,
Surround yourself with good people,
not like-minded, but good, decent,
people with empathy, compassion,
people that care, give a damn,
respect you without gate keeping.”
Then he’d turn his eyes to his novel,
take a sip of his gin and tonic,
and I knew the conversation was finished.

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