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Daniel Romo

Dad Jokes

I won’t ask you what the salad dressing said to the
lettuce or what you call a podiatrist allergic to toes

because most of our lives have already delivered so
many punchlines with so little guts left to stomach

the pain. Yesterday I went to a kid’s birthday party
and was reminded how my ex-wife and I paid quite

the sum for The Hulk to entertain at our son’s party
where a balding man showed up in a shotty costume

as if all his muscles and might had been deflated by a
divorce of his own. It’s a funny thing these memories

that almost possess you like superpowers, not ha-ha
funny, but more so nervous-laughter funny, as if that’s

the only response you could make while paying your
last respects to a person, place, or marriage you never

really knew. I appreciate that comedy is all about timing,
and I can now see the days when I replied, Who’s there?

were both question and response to myself as if trying
to see what I was willing to let go of and what I was

willing to let in. I’ll spare you the one about the father
and time because that’s a cruel one in which you can’t

tell the wounds that have healed from the ones that
remain a riddle.

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