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Styrofoam Plates

Death Cab for Cutie

Styrofoam Plates by Death Cab for Cutie

Because deadbeat fathers also deserve recognition on Father’s Day.

There’s a saltwater film
on the jar of your ashes
I threw them to sea
but a gust blew them backwards
and the sting in my eyes
which you then inflicted
was par for the course
just as when you were living

It’s no stretch to say
you were not quite a father
but a donor of seeds
to a poor single mother
that would raise us alone
we never saw the money
that went down your throat
through the hole in your belly

Thirteen years old
in the suburbs of Denver
standing in line
for Thanksgiving dinner
at the Catholic church
the servers wore crosses
to shield from the sufferance
plaguing the others

Styrofoam plates, cafeteria tables
charity reeks of cheap wine and pity
and I’m thinking of you
I do every year

When we count all our blessings
And wonder what we’re doing here.

You’re a disgrace
to the concept of family
the priest won’t divulge
that fact in his homily
and I’ll stand up and scream
if the mourning remain quiet
you can deck out a lie
in a suit but I won’t buy it
I won’t join in the procession
that’s speaking their peace
using five-dollar words
while praising his integrity
and just ‘cause he’s gone
it doesn’t change the fact
he was a bastard in life
thus a bastard in death