Incarnate By Robin Becker

I spot him at the water’s edge with his daughter,
a revised child from his new, corrected family. Waves
roll in and cover my father’s feet, waves tumble the heavy brown shoes Of brokerage, precarious place settings,
camp trunks stuffed with our old clothes. In his mind,
my father places each one of us on a separate beach, like
a shaman scattering the poisons.

He grasps the child’s hand. He has become the family
man my mother always wanted, dreaming up in improvements
he will make around the house. When he sees me, he ask for forgiveness in a voice he has discovered since he was my
father. “Sure,” I say. “Sure, dad.” I can see that he is
happy and I weep; when he was ours, he hated beaches, he hated being seen. Now he walks like an Old Testament king, splendid David or great King Saul, wise with pain.

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