The Smartest Guy in the Room
It took me a while to notice
the chip on his shoulder.
He never made a scene
and yet he silently saw himself
as the smartest guy in every room.
He sized up each man
by noting the factual errors
and rhetorical flaws.
Like a judge in Olympic diving,
he lowered the poor man’s score
and Dad always came out on top
even when he didn’t.
And women, by definition,
could never measure up.
Nineteenth century gender inequality
was baked into his understanding
of the great chain of being.
My sister and my dad
attended the same college.
Only one graduated Summa Cum Laude
and was accepted into Phi Beta Kappa
and it wasn’t him,
but it made no difference.
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 17, 2023