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.