The other day I passed him on the street like a stranger


By Timothy Matthew Perez

Everyday Father asks for forgiveness from several
deities: Buddha, Ganesha, Jesus, former presidents
Clinton, Nixon and all the Bushes.

Then he swills down half a pint of Jack, sharpens
all his knives, tucks his dog at his feet like a hot water
bottle and closes one eye.

The other day I passed him on the street said, Hey Pops.

He looked right at me, not recognizing the stranger
I have become, said, Don’t call me Pops.

I pointed a hand at him shaped like a gun, said, Bbbbrrrr
you got me dead bang Pops.

Son? He asked. The question hung there: the dirty
truth of our relationship, his little dog trembling
at his heels waiting for the storm.


  1. As I read your words, I compare my recoglections of your father and it brings back the best parts of my childhood, when we first met we were inseparable, you and your father were my seragate family. His giving and loving nature made me feel like I too was his son and you the brother I never had. Memories of 31 flavors and going to the movies still comfort me and inspire me to do the same with my son .The gestures of love you both demonstrated still beat in my heart to this day. As I read your words I can’t help reminiscing through the countless times we died laughing at your impersonations of your fathers pet peaves, how he would go bullistic if anyone touched “his stuff” on his desk of which only he knew where everything were placed. As I read your words I also can relate to the tragic disparity you discribe in your poems as if I was right there with you when those incidents accured. The young boy who lost his leg , the love for gardening your father once had , the gangster nieghborhoods , the pool at your apartment complex in Oxnard, the tension your big bro Bear use to stir up with your dad and you getting the short end of the stick . Man if things could only have turned out differently between you and I perhaps we would still be sharing memories today, perhaps our children would have the pleasure of playing together as we once did . I realize I failed in my actions , no one to blame but myself , a valuable lesson I have passed down to my son. Sadly our time is short in this life and we cannot every relive those childhood bonds and experiences , nope just have to play the cards of which we are dealt. I hope one day you will read this and know that I really appreciated you and your father for what you did for me . I also wish the best for you and your family and as you read my words smile because I still love you .

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