The house sitter for instance fucks up scooping the litter box, so when we get back the toilet is clogged with a week’s worth
of unflushed flushable litter. My wife remains calm, ready to give an honest effort while I plunge and plunge in an apoplectic freak-out,
just talking to myself—“Seriously? Seriously? A monkey would know better…,“ dropping bombs left and right, assassinating
the poor, I-was-only-trying-to-help house sitter’s character. Meanwhile, upstairs, the kids can totally hear my act. I’m aware of this.
Even before the show is over, I know this will be a way I’m remembered: dad in the basement screaming at a toilet,
at a cat box, at mom’s fat scuzzy cat. Undignified Dad. Unmindful. The un-Buddha throwing one of his famous, short-lived,
comically outsized tantrums. When they’re grown and out of the house and reminiscing, they’ll recall this version of me.
They’ll laugh and send a joke tie for Father’s Day, something patterned with cats. Or so I hope. That’s the poem: my hoping.
-- Matthew Guenette is the author of two collections: American Busboy (U. of Akron Press, 2011) and Sudden Anthem (Dream Horse Press, 2008). He lives, works, uses the oxford comma, and loses sleep in Madison, WI.