Our local theaters do good work, bringing drama into our lives.
Usually when I go, I’m happy, but this was a bad date choice.
This particular play involves an absent father.
He is the central character although he never actually appears.
It’s an odd thing, a good premise that did work
well enough to set her off, even over
her favorite onion rings and strawberry milkshake.
The plays the trigger I pulled by accident.
“He’s not there,” she says, “but he’s a bad actor,
with no conscience like you know who.
The more they mention him, the more likely he is
to come back. Who would want to see him?
Nobody. All the characters know it. Everyone agrees.
He should never appear, so stop talking about him.”
You know who. That’s the way she refers to him.
It’s a hard thing to say about a father,
and hard too, always knowing
the only fondness fostered by his absence
is a fondness for his absence.