For my Father

Fiddling with my phone
I think of how much
my father would have loved it
the wireless way it worked
his face would have mooned beside mine
and he’d have asked
how much did it cost
how reliable was it
he was fascinated by machines
he told me about the differences between
four stroke and two stroke motors
why large musical instruments gave a deeper sound
why one town got more rain than another
how an aeroplane is able to fly
what makes a bird so light
what would happen to an astronaut’s face
if he began to unscrew his helmet
he was always teaching me words, big words
he left school in Grade Eight
he had enormous respect for two things, for words and for God
but not in that order:
he would have leaned across
but he would not have touched my shoulder
I’m certain of that
that wasn’t the kind of thing that he did
no matter how much I wished that he would.