My dad's Buick parked and running,
heater on, us inside.
Between his legs a squatty bottle of beer.
In my bag just nine Oh Henry candy bars
he bought me at the liquor store.
Ahead of us on the sidewalk we see
Gerry Fiske and Alan Byl
dressed up like cowboys
knocking on doors.
"Your mother turned me into this" he says.
He drinks from his bottle
and I open the candy.
Gerry recognizes our car
and taps on the glass. I wave at him,
removing my tiger mask.
My dad honks the horn once
and Gerry runs off ahead.
That Christmas Eve sitting in the car
outside my grandparents' house.
Dad smoked filtered Camels
and we watched through the back window
as the rest ate at the big table inside.
He punched the cigarettes out on the heel of his hand,
then flicked the butts out the window.
"Your mother," he said. . . .