Since Jack Left

Hard to believe it’s been a year since you called
your last family reunion. The one at the hospital.

Pretending to be a tough guy.
Eating pizza and shooting pool and trying hard
not to remember that you were dying. Then you did.

The long, blurry line of black cars and black suits and old uncles.
We carried you down from the Baptist church and wore dark sunglasses
And tried to be like you. Tried to be men.

When we got home, no one would sit in your chair. It was too soon.
Football in the swampy yard with saw-horse end zones and broken hearts.

I know you’re up there fishing that no-limit river
Where the mountains rub against the sky.
And I know you’ve got Red and Gary to help with the boat,
But sometimes I wish I could sit with you awhile, again
Just to watch the lines.