Wrestling with Genetics

by Robert Vaughan

The sports gene I get from my dead father. He returns to me now as a scent. Water-logged leaves. He's the tetherball attached to my pole, the flying trapeze of my soul. He runs a bar tab then turns to me and says let's hit the road, son. And when I argue with him about the keys, he says that's a bunch of horseshit. But then I bluff. I can see his ailing pickled heart sitting in a laboratory glass jar on a top shelf too high to reach. I wrestle him to the ground, grab the keys, load Dad into the back seat. And for once, just this time, he won't barrel down a back road at one hundred miles an hour, straight into the side of a quarrelsome train.