One Summer with Pop

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When I was seven or eight
I spent one summer with my dad
He lived in a high-rise
Somewhere in Virginia

He had an efficiency
with a queen sized waterbed
Big Screen tv
Stereo system and nightstand

One night we were sitting on the bed
Watching Sportscenter
He reach into the nightstand
and pulled out a gun

It was the kind you would find
strapped to an officer’s hip

I kept my head toward the screen
Hiding my awareness,
Then in total seriousness he said
“Here, hold it.”

I was unsure if it was loaded
I froze for a few seconds
And thought, “Is this some kind of lesson?”
“What’s the right answer?”

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