I watch my dad on the sidewalk in front of the church. He gives an old man a twenty-dollar bill.
The Pastor asks him why he would give a twenty-dollar bill to an old bum. He will just spend it
on booze, he says.
Because he needs it, my dad says.
The old man takes the money from my dad’s hand, mumbles his thanks, and shuffles down the street
to the corner bar.
I stand on the steps of Mt. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in my blue buttoned dress and mary-janes. My father looks up and smiles. I run into the Sanctuary to save him a seat, to the pew in the back, the one we sit in every Sunday, the one with all the scratches.
for his mother
the neighbor’s bare trees
William Paul Remy August 18, 1927 – April 15, 2017
A Journal of English Senryu
Volume 2, Issue 21