The birds and the bees

A conversation with my dad about sexual intercourse. A free verse poem.

When I was in high school,
I brought my girlfriend
over to my house for the first time.

Upon entering, my dad looked at me
And said, “Hey, how are y’all?”
In the oddest way imaginable.

He had this shit-eating grin on his face
And then his eyes caught mine.
In what I can only describe as telepathy,
He transferred the following message to me:
“Good job, son. You have made your father proud.”

I remember telling my friends,
Dwayne and Josh, about this
Telepathic silent approval not long after.

“It’s like he spoke to me
Without speaking to me,”
I said to them.

Following this telepathic exchange
With my dad, my girlfriend and I
Went straight up the steps to my room.

Shortly thereafter, I returned downstairs
To get the two of us something to drink —
When my dad saw me

And said first through telepathy:
I sense you registered my silent approval before
When you entered; but so that we are clear:

And then he spoke using his actual voice
And said, “I don’t want to see no Pillow babies
Running around this house in nine months.”

It was the only talk we ever had on the subject.
I didn’t have the heart to say, “Dad, I registered
Your silent approval. But I don’t think you have
Anything to worry about there.”

Instead, I just said: okay.

The end.

Happy Father’s Day to my dad. Here’s another story about him making eggs for my sister.

By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated,, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.

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