Rather than fierce:  Pathetic.
Lies on the couch watching reruns of Kolchak.
You remember the day you got him—Xmas.
A box big as a refrigerator’s. Mom and Dad?
Strangely absent.  But once the ribbons
and glittering wrap were gone, out he lumbered,
yawned, and plopped—down—like a servant
too old to be of use.  So you keep him,
watch him grow old, buy him a used
recliner and membership
in the a cigar-of-the-month club,
until all he does is grumble and long
to vote Republican.  And when you bring
your future wife to him and smile,
he sidles his way into an off-color joke,
the punch line of which is: gefilte pig.
It is your wife’s cousin who will preside
at his funeral, open casket of course,
his face clayed with pancake and warped
into the smiling face of a real man,
one who doesn’t know he is leaving,
but knows he is gone.

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