Six Servings Per Can

Three scents will always remind 
me of my father: the Permatex I could find

sitting in a puddle of soap scum 
at the shop, the wood shavings from

his circular saw, and the salted maybe-ham  
that the world knows as SPAM.  

On Sunday mornings, he would tie 
his apron and sing Sinatra while 

frying Something Posing as Meat. 
He never gave up trying to feed 

our poor mother’s cabinet doors 
as he plopped it on the cutting board. 

We huddled together behind 
the sofa, for once putting aside 

our GI Joe and Barbie woes 
to hide from our father’s spoils.

With a mouth full, he called it a luxury 
and ignored our gagging pleas 

as the smell of salted meat 
seeped into our meal  

of pilfered peanut butter 
and Saltine crackers.