When I Think of My Father

by Bruce McAllister

When I think of my father, which I do at night,
I think of his uniforms, the ones he has always
worn on the faster-than-light ships that carry him
through classified missions to the stars, clean and
pressed, always the same, smelling of their
synthetic fabric—the smell I loved when I was little.
My father never changes either, and the miracle
of this fills me with a peace few things can. I am
the one who has changed by staying here, growing
taller, becoming a young man, marrying, having
children of my own, succeeding in a profession, and,
finally, accepting a failing body that is ready to leave
this world. But each time my father visits—and there
are years between his returns—he looks at me in the
same way, and I know he is seeing the child I once
was, the child he has always loved, unchanged.


Copyright © 2021 by Bruce McAllister


Featured Poet of the Month Bruce McAllister

Some decades ago Bruce McAllister was a poet and the associate editor of a respected West Coast poetry litmag.  He’s writing poetry again.  His short fiction has recently appeared or will be appearing in ALBEDO ONE, ANALOG, DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, LIGHTSPEED, THE DARK, and elsewhere. 

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