And then there’s Dad, sent off  
at twelve to boarding school  
where he learned the rudiments 
of Lutheran theology and how

 to do his own laundry and how  
to smoke a pack a day, a thing  
so well learned that it became  
a 57 year old habit. Do the math

 and you’ll know how short he  
lived, how long he blew smoke  
rings for me and my siblings  
as he wrote his sermons, graded

 papers, sipped a martini, watched  
Gunsmoke and my brother’s baseball  
games and my mother as she lifted  
loaves from the oven, all with

 the pleasure of a twelve year old,  
the devotion of a monk whose  
charge it is to focus on the cup,  
the host, open mouths all around.