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My father was a sorrowful
    if well intentioned man

  with no luck
      and no rapport
  with the Universe

No philosopher he―
     his M.O. was fatalism
              and remorse
One day he asserted
    “Little Man”
—this he called me even as I looked
                  down to meet his eyes—
       “the Universe owes us nothing

                yet we are at its mercy”

This contra-diction burned in my nostrils
                  seared my ears
“Dear Father”
   I cried―looking straight into his eyes―
“I'll take Mercy
       over Debt
  every day”

SO

   in the name
       of Mercy

I wished a wish―which the Universe soon granted―

     and turned my father into

              A Sunflower

Nodding ever toward the Sun
   heavy head
         full of

Seeds of Wisdom

      and

    Petals of Wonder



After graduating from West Virginia University, Bob Walters has taught Literature, Writing, and Creative Writing in Asheville, North Carolina, where life and beer are wonderful. He also plays drums, writes fiction and poetry, and paints in acrylics to calm a restless spirit. He is married to his favorite person, and they have three large sons.
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