Would Have Been

Your 36th
sober birthday if
you had lived. I remember

when you told me
you put down
the bottle. I didn’t understand—

my first tipsy
only weeks before. But
that prayer

I now choke on
between “grant me”
and “the serenity”

since you died. That prayer
I thought you wrote
with your second wife. That prayer

I knew had magic
in it—hanging over
the kitchen sink

ready to help
whoever might read it
come clean. That prayer

I pin
to my heart each night
before I sleep. That prayer

enshrines every gift
you, my father,
ever gave away.

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