A poem by American poet Ollie Schminkey, from Dead Dad Jokes (Button Poetry, 2021)

The first birthday he is not alive



we all order his favorite drink.

we forget the hole he punched in the door.
the hole he shot through the dog.
he was so good at making holes, except when it came time
to dig one for his body.

there could be bones mixed in with our flour,
and we would never even know.
we could be eating cookies, and he could be
dead inside our mouths.

it feels stupid to be sad when he was mean for so long.
he only got nice when he was dying, and
i don't know if that counts as becoming a better person.

sometimes, i imagine him watching over me,
and i hide

Ollie Schminkey

From: Dead Dad Jokes. Button Poetry, 2021