Well before we found ourselves in the COVID 19 pandemic, we had the sniffles on this episode, slushies. But neither head colds nor hangovers will keep us from the great pleasure of discussing Daryl Jones’ “Not Your Ordinary Doppleganger.” The poem’s gentle humor and delightful details have us in stitches: the poem puts the “P” in poetry, the “P” in PBQ. (There is a badly delivered dad joke buried in that sentence, slushies, apologies– trust us, the poem does it better). Listen in as: Jason reveals his mother was actively trying to gaslight him when he was 5; Samantha reveals the science of scent and stepmothers; and we trade Shakespearean puns and tips on slankets. All of which made us think about father and fatherhood, those we’ve had and those we miss.
Daryl Jones recently retired from a career in academic administration and rediscovered the passion for writing that he had set aside more than twenty-five years ago, after receiving an NEA Fellowship, serving as Idaho Writer-in-Residence, and winning the Natalie Ornish Poetry Award from the Texas Institute of Letters for his book Someone Going Home Late. Since courting the muse again, he has published poems in The American Journal of Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, New Ohio Review, Poet Lore, The Southern Review, and elsewhere.
NOT YOUR ORDINARY DOPPELGÄNGER
In my teens, my father liked to wear my hand-me-downs,
anything I’d outgrown: a lime green pullover sweater,
pilled, stretched out at the neck;
a gold-buttoned blue blazer, sleeves
shiny at the elbows, threadbare at the wrists.
His favorite, it turned out, was my high school letter jacket,
navy wool, white leather sleeves, a big block letter “P”
on the breast. “You really gonna wear that?” he’d joke.
“In public?” “With pee on it?”
When I left for college he took to wearing it
while raking leaves or shoveling snow.
My high school friends, driving past, would think he was me,
back home, flunked out, and wave. And he’d wave back.