by Jennifer Litt
I found my father a wheelchair.
The footrest had dropsy;
every time we crossed a threshold
into another room his right foot,
missing its baby toe, scraped the floor.
We surveyed the giant skeletons of whales—
sperm, humpback, blue—suspended
from the atrium ceiling. Below us,
the staff set up tables and chairs
for a wedding reception.
When Dad saw the female
right whale with fetus, he whispered,
Your mother had a miscarriage
when we were first married.
Later, he lifted an exhibit phone
to listen to a whale song.
You’re no Tony Bennett, he yelled
into the handset.