Father’s Tattoo

he never drew attention to the fading lines
bruised blue and black on the forearm
vague insignia from the days when stationed in Japan

except for a day a few years before he passed
when he pointed to it and told me
don’t you get one of these

and i responded as a child will do with something like
okay

this is how we become tethered to another:
the uncomplicated ask
followed by the simple promise
that is held for the whole scope of a life

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Father’s Tattoo

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