my father is making bernie sanders
sitting on the edge of his seat
with a jar of model paint & a tiny brush.
i come home to try & dig myself
from a delgue of winter depression.
my father has glasses he never wears
& a necktie hanging from the ceiling fan.
he mows the lawn. he finds himself
often in folding chairs. three bernie sanders
& then five. i ask him what he plans
to do with the bernie sanders & he says
"sell them." the sun goes orange.
i come to witness his creations alone.
a congregation. a flock. bernie's crossed legs.
dad says, "no one
wants to work anymore." his hands
are leathered from being half man
& half conveuyer belts. he drives
a dying red van. says prayers
it will start in the morning cold.
takes off his shoes like caskets.
his pale feet. i tried phone banking once
for bernie sanders. they coached us to
"tell the caller why bernie matters to you."
i thought of my father but could never
find a narrative. half the time i hung up
out of fear. he paints bernie's hands
with precision & care. are they
his children? rows & rows of bernie figures.
more sizes now all sitting
on a windowsill in the sun room.
do we all want to save our fathers?
i want to ask for one to keep. a father
or a bernie statue, i'm not sure which.
set on a shelf in my house. my own
bernie sanders. when my father looks at them
what does he see? he keeps making more
& has not sold a single one
nor is he trying to. i am often proud
of my father. he drinks a beer
reading a book on world war one.
he does not cross his legs
but he does furrow his brow.
often he'll say, "i'll be dead soon"
to which any surrounding family members
will say, "no no stop" unsure of what else
could thwart my father's efforts.
in the dark i visit the bernies again.
hold one in my hand before placing it back
amoung his brothers.