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Reconciliation Room: poem by Phil Flott

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Photo: section of an old wooden fence with rounded posts, two vertical, and two horizontal posts, one resting on the other, image by LEEROY Agency, on Pixabay.

old fence, image by LEEROY Agency, on Pixabay

Reconciliation Room

When I grow really older

I will place the wooden wedge door stop

Under the door, to hold it open.

I will remember years ago

When I was a roofer,

Never afraid of falling,

So, I can walk on this level floor

Out of the confessional, but carefully,

Leading with my shoulder against the jamb

(The way I led blocking

For “Smokes” O’Donnell,

The fastest running back

In all South Omaha).

I will make sure to tell my wife

(I’ve got the best one in our church).

I don’t know how

She managed

My quirks and upsettednesses.

I will tell my children

They did right to not follow after me:

While a roofer is over everything,

He still has bills to pay,

Lies in bed at night

Trying to finagle a way to pay for

The groceries and utilities.

But I’m not ready just yet to leave.

I have so many things I have not settled.

I want a little more time

To make amends with old man Jakmons,

About his fence on my property line.

I need to tell Joe the “K” that he undercharged me

For parts on my car.

I have to pray for the repose of the souls

of my mother and father,

whom I did not allow to live with me

at their end. And soon I will try to pray for that.

I will pick up my voice to God.

Then I can go.


Phil Flott is a retired Catholic priest. He has

just completed his MFA degree from St. Thomas

in Houston. His work has appeared in Time of Singing, Mulberry Literary, Academy of the Heart and Mind, Sangam, Highland Park Poetry, and Ekstasis Magazine.

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