After I Watched The Deer Hunter
After I watched The Deer Hunter
thirty years later, I asked him,
my father, had it been like that,
because I recognized those streets
from my visits back home with him
and the ways of those wedding halls
and bows like those his father left,
and because I had learned the smell
of frying deer there and had seen
a field-dressed carcass on a truck.
And because he knew what I knew—
that he spent the war repairing
bombers and not being shot at—
he knew what I was asking him
was not the usual question.
He said yes, it had been like that,
as if a long-known thing becomes
easy to say, if not to know.
And because this was on the phone
I couldn’t see what else he felt
when I finally understood
why I never met any friends
of his, back in Pennsylvania.
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Photo by Kevin Chang/Flickr