Dad’s Cans

Note: I did not write this. I read it and felt the need to pass it along.

Dad's Cans

Dad’s Cans

I’ve carried them from my childhood home to my college dorm room, to the duplex I rented after graduation, to my first home and my second and now my third. They don’t take up much space.

We parked by the side of a dirt road and scrounged up two cans from the ditch. Daddy shot first: His blast obliterated the Pepsi can, leaving the top and bottom barely connected by a metal strip that would fail, despite my years of efforts to keep it together. I went next. It was the first time I’d ever pulled a trigger, and I almost missed the Budweiser can: Three pellet holes pocked the bottom half. We left the woods—but not without the targets.

That was the only shot I would ever share with my father, our only time afield with a gun. He died a few months later, unexpectedly. He never got the chance to buy me a gun. Instead, I carry our cans from place to place—for 41 years now—like the-embers from a fire. —T. Edward Nickens

Photograph by Dan Saelinger

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