old fence, image by LEEROY Agency, on Pixabay
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
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.